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Articles » Misdiagnosis » Types of Wrong Diagnosis

Types of Wrong Diagnosis

It is important to analyse the different types of misdiagnosis that are possible. Although everyone is familiar with the idea of a total misdiagnosis, where the wrong disease is identified, but there are also several other types of partial misdiagnosis. A partial misdiagnosis can easily have an adverse effect on treatment and prognosis.

  • Correct diagnosis: Before we dive into all the things that can go wrong, it's worth pointing out that the diagnosis is usually right. This is especially likely if you have a common condition or disease that is well known to doctors.
  • Totally wrong diagnosis: If you get a diagnosis, it sometimes happens that it is totally wrong.
    • Wrong disease: Diagnosed as a disease, when you don't have that disease, but you have another disease.
    • Not sick: It is rare but possible to be diagnosed with a disease, even if you are healthy.
  • Never visiting a doctor: You might have a disease but not be diagnosed for it. This is especially true of diseases where you don't have any noticable symptoms, and so don't go to the doctor to seek medical advice.
  • Disease missed: You might go to the doctor and still be diagnosed as healthy, when in fact you have a disease.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: This refers to a delay in the diagnosis of a disease. This type of misdiagnosis is particularly common in misdiagnosis and malpractice lawsuits related to lung cancer or colon cancer, where there was a delay in correctly diagnosing the cancer.
  • Wrong subtype of disease: Even if the overall diagnosis is correct, you might still be diagnosed with the wrong subtype of the disease.
  • Complications missed: The disease that you have may also cause additional complications that need to be diagnosed. If there are serious complications from your main condition, it is very important to correctly diagnose and treat these complications.
  • Underlying disease missed: Sometimes the disease you are diagnosed with is actually caused by another disease. This underlying disease is actually the real disease, and the first disease is like a symptom. These forms of secondary disease tend to be rarer and sometimes overlooked.
  • Medication underlying cause missed: Sometimes your condition can be caused by a medication that you are taking. Numerous medications have serious side effects, not only prescription medications, but also over-the-counter medications and alternative medicines. For example, long-term use of prescription steroid medications can sometimes cause diabetes, and over-use of over-the-counter headache tablets can in fact eventually cause chronic headaches.
  • Related diseases missed: Not a pleasant thought, but you could have 2 diseases. Some types of diseases tend to group together, and if you find you have one disease, you should check whether you can have any of its related diseases. You also need to be aware of an increased risk of getting one later.
  • Unrelated diseases by coincidence: If you are really unlucky, you might have two unrelated diseases, purely by chance. These situations are inherently very difficult to diagnose and one of the diseases may be missed.

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