When health issues are a concern, Pittsburgh patients may want to be aware of conditions and illnesses that can be missed because of an incorrect diagnosis. Although issues such as surgical and medication errors typically get more publicity, studies indicate that misdiagnosis is a more common problem, potentially playing a role in up to 20 percent of medical cases.
In a recent study, nearly 30 percent of cases involving a misdiagnosis were serious enough to cause permanent disability or death. The more common the issue, the greater the potential for a wrong diagnosis as in the case of infections. An incorrect evaluation of an infection can be deadly. Blood clots in lungs can be deadly as well and are not always correctly diagnosed. This may be due to a lack of symptoms. Inaccurate explaining of symptoms may be a factor in misdiagnosis of heart attacks. This is particularly true in women as up to 70 percent do not experience any chest pain. Heart disease and stroke also have high rates of incorrect diagnosis.