When you visit a doctor, it is because you need their expert advice. While you might be able to guess what is wrong with you, they are the ones who spent years studying and practicing medicine. So, if they tell you not to worry, chances are, you will likely believe them.
The bad news is that sometimes doctors get it wrong. They misdiagnose a condition as something less severe. They miss the opportunity to attend to the situation and help you get better or prevent you from getting worse.
Strokes are often missed
One condition doctors often miss is a stroke. One study found that if you go to a hospital’s emergency department with a stroke, there is almost a one in 10 chance doctors will fail to diagnose it correctly. Other studies suggest the rate may be even higher.
To understand why, it is essential to look at the symptoms of a stroke:
- A strong headache
- Blurred vision
These signs could occur for many reasons, so doctors may fail to realize the situation’s gravity. One key indicator of a stroke is a sudden loss of feeling on one side of the body. Yet sometimes, a doctor may be distracted and not hear you tell them that. Or perhaps they listen to your first few symptoms and then make a decision, ignoring the bit about numbness because they think they already have the answer. It is also possible that as a patient, you do not experience all these symptoms or do not mention them all. However, that does not excuse a doctor from misdiagnosing you.
Acting fast is critical in a stroke. Failure to do so can lead to further strokes, lifelong consequences or death. All of which might have been avoided by a prompt diagnosis.