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Suffering from IBD

Jun 1, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

Many New York residents who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease identify pain and fatigue as their most difficult symptoms. This is according to a survey of more than 4,000 respondents that was conducted by Health Union in early 2017.

Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is a challenge for many IBD sufferers. Over half of the survey respondents, 57 percent, stated that the first diagnosis they received was incorrect. Thirty-one percent of those misdiagnosed had initially been advised that they were experiencing irritable bowel syndrome. Ten percent of respondents stated they were misdiagnosed as having ulcerative colitis rather instead of Crohn’s disease. At least five visits to the doctor were necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis for 62 percent of the respondents.

According to a patient advocate, many patients with IBD are at first diagnosed with IBS because their symptoms are not extreme enough to prompt additional testing. Any misdiagnosis can result in an inadequate treatment plan for the patient.A large number of IBD symptoms are something other than gastrointestinal, which can make responding to the condition difficult for both patients and doctors. Eighty-five percent of the survey respondents stated that having extra-intestinal symptoms was the primary factor of the difficulty of IBD. Along with other symptoms, pain and fatigue affect how well patients are able to function daily. Abdominal cramps and pain affected over 80 percent of the respondents. Sixty-four percent reported having swollen joints or arthritis. Night sweats were experienced by 40 percent of the respondents, while 22 percent reported having mouth sores.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may pursue financial damages on behalf of clients whose doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness resulted in a worsened condition. Patients may also have legal recourse for receiving incorrect test results or being subjected to any other negligent medical treatment.