Why does appendicitis often go misdiagnosed?
Each day across the United States, patients are misdiagnosed as having one medical condition when they really have a completely different one.
In some cases, this happens because patients fail to fully list their symptoms. In other instances, it happens because a doctor fails to ask enough questions or perform the right tests that would help them in diagnosing their patient properly. Some medical conditions are more frequently misdiagnosed than others.
Most of us have known someone that has had their appendix removed. Few patients are lucky enough to have it removed before it starts causing them discomfort. Instead, many patients will first start feeling pain around their belly button followed by bouts of nausea and vomiting or intermittent constipation with diarrhea.
If a doctor does sense early on that something's wrong with a patient, then they may sense that they're suffering from Crohn's disease, colitis, an intestinal obstruction or even pelvic inflammatory disease.
While ordering imaging studies or performing a physical exam may have helped a doctor properly diagnose a patient's appendicitis, they may have not gone that route. Instead, they may have ordered tests for Crohn's or other gastrointestinal disorders.
It's only once the results come back inconclusive that doctors may begin to suspect appendicitis is the more appropriate diagnosis. The diagnosis may come too late, though. A patient's appendix may have ruptured, spilling toxic fluid into their body and putting them at risk for death.
Appendicitis is just one of many different medical conditions that doctors provide delayed diagnoses for each day. Other illness that often go misdiagnosed include Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, hypo and hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, Lupus or endometriosis.
Even if you ultimately receive the correct diagnosis, a Tucson failure to diagnose attorney may advise you that you qualify to receive compensation for pain and suffering and other costs that you had to endure before that occurred.