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Misdiagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
For those who have Alzheimer’s disease and the families who love them, the toll the illness takes on memory, cognitive functioning, and day-to-day life can be devastating, and only gets more difficult as the disease progresses. While there is no cure, early diagnosis and intervention can facilitate treatments and medication regimes that can slow the disease’s progress and improve quality of life.
But diagnosing Alzheimer’s can be extremely difficult. Unlike other diseases which can be discovered through diagnostic tests, doctors often diagnose Alzheimer’s through symptoms alone. This means that physicians may blame common Alzheimer’s indicators like forgetfulness, disorientation, or loss of memory on other factors or conditions.
Sadly, misdiagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is all too common. One study concluded that up to 1 in 5 Alzheimer’s cases are misdiagnosed, with misdiagnosis more common in men than in women. When doctors and other medical specialists fail to follow the proper standard of care and fail to detect and treat Alzheimer’s, the misdiagnosis and the harm that it causes may be the basis of a claim for medical malpractice.
For patients with Alzheimer’s, a failure to diagnose the disease correctly can mean delayed or denied treatment and medications as well as ineffective and potentially dangerous courses of treatment based on a diagnosis of a different but incorrect illness. It can also deny people with Alzheimer’s the opportunity to get their affairs in order and make end-of-life plans before the disease progresses.
For individuals incorrectly diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s, the emotional and psychological trauma can turn their world upside-down and leave them struggling to cope. They may make life choices they would not have otherwise made in reliance on the misdiagnosis, and they may also be given medications for a non-existent condition that could have serious adverse health consequences.
Alzheimer’s Disease Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice
Diagnosing many conditions can be difficult, and Alzheimer’s disease is no exception. But if doctors and other health care professionals are negligent in making their determinations as to a patient’s condition and make an incorrect Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, it could form the basis of a medical malpractice claim. In fact, one study concluded that misdiagnoses are the leading cause of medical malpractice payouts, totaling nearly $39 billion over the past 25 years.
Contact Our Tampa Malpractice Attorneys
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered because of a missed or delayed diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or you think you have been a victim of other forms of medical malpractice in Tampa, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at the law firm of Alley, Clark & Greiwe are Board-certified trial attorneys and have been recognized by the legal community for their experience and knowledge in litigating claims for persons who have been victims of serious medical errors, including misdiagnoses. Please call us at 813-222-0977 or contact us online to arrange for your free case evaluation.