Retired NFL players have been misdiagnosed with CTE

On Behalf of | May 20, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Patients in Texas are always at risk of receiving the wrong type of diagnosis when they visit their physician. This is exactly what happened to numerous former NFL players who were told that they had the brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. This resulted in them receiving medical treatment that is not tailored to their condition.

The problem with this diagnosis is that CTE cannot be diagnosed when the patient is still alive. The only way that a doctor can conclusively determine that the patient has the disease is when the patient dies and an autopsy is performed. At the same time, there are numerous other conditions such as sleep apnea, hypertension, obesity and diabetes that could have similar symptoms to CTE. An incorrect diagnosis might keep the player from receiving treatment.

This happened to roughly 3% of the former NFL players who participated in the study. The other problem with this mistake is that it can lead to depression and suicide when someone receives a diagnosis and is told that it cannot be treated. Such was the case of Junior Seau, who committed suicide at the age of 43 after experiencing symptoms of brain damage. The CTE diagnosis may encourage retired players to let go of their health and forgo the type of lifestyle habits that can be beneficial.

Misdiagnosis of a condition can be medical malpractice and may be legally actionable. Those who are injured by it may be entitled to substantial legal compensation. A person who feels that they are a victim of medical malpractice may want to contact an attorney to begin the process of filing a lawsuit. The attorney might help their client investigate the facts of the case and work with relevant medical experts to present the strongest possible lawsuit.