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High rate of misdiagnosis among multiple sclerosis patients

Treatment advances may have improved outcomes for Oklahoma patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, but a 2017 survey found that many still have a trouble wading through multiple false diagnoses and finding doctors who understand the disease. The three-month survey, which was taken by patients online, identified common symptoms and problems experienced in the community.

Misdiagnosis was listed by 42 percent of the survey respondents. They were most commonly diagnosed with and treated for chronic fatigue, depression and fibromyalgia. Part of the problem causing such a high rate of misdiagnosesis that neurological symptoms can be difficult to track with biological markers. For instance, some of the most common symptoms reported were fatigue, numbness, brain fog and muscle weakness.

A misdiagnosis could lead to a worsened condition or premature death depending on the individual circumstances. Nearly half of the 5,300 respondents said that it took more than five visits to healthcare professionals before receiving an accurate diagnosis. It took up to three months for 65 percent of patients to begin therapy, but a patient advocate pointed out that beginning treatment does not mean the same thing as finding the best treatment.

Due to the difficulties with misdiagnoses and need for what may be years of experimentation prior to settling on a therapy, Oklahoma patients may suffer many setbacks and feel hopeless in their situations. Those who think that a failure to diagnose MS caused their worsened condition and was a result of medical professional negligence may be able recover financially with a lawsuit. An attorney with medical malpractice experience can help answer questions about the procedures involved and the potential for a settlement.