The charity Parkinson’s UK conducted a survey of over 2,000 people with the disease and found that 26% had initially been misdiagnosed. Texas residents who know someone with Parkinson’s disease might realize that it is a very complex condition and therefore hard to diagnose. More than 40 symptoms are associated with it, and different ones will appear in different people. To make matters worse, there is no one definitive test for it.
Of those survey respondents who were misdiagnosed, 48% said they were treated for the condition that the doctors mistakenly thought it to be. Six percent even underwent operations. For 36%, it was medication that they received, and for 6%, a combination of operations and medications. Sadly, 34% of those who were treated for the wrong condition experienced a worsening of their health.
Patients have reported being diagnosed with everything from stroke to anxiety or a frozen shoulder. One woman who went to the doctor with a dragging left foot, a worsening tremor and a changed voice was told that everything was in her head. Parkinson’s disease affects some 10 million people in the world. Misdiagnoses have been discovered to be more frequent among women and patients aged 51 to 60.
Diagnostic errors are often the fault of the doctors as they may fail to live up to an objective standard of care. Of course, when a disease is already hard to diagnose, it can be harder to prove this negligence. Those who wish to file a medical malpractice claim, then, may want a lawyer to evaluate the case and recommend how to proceed.