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Health Conditions that get Misdiagnosed as Epilepsy

Jan 31, 2017 | Medical Malpractice

It can be frightening to witness an epilepsy seizure. Your loved one will become unresponsive, experience convulsions and sudden body stiffness; and after that they may not recall the incident at all. Epilepsy is caused due to abnormal electrical signals in the brain.

According to the CDC, around 1.8 percent adults aged 18 and more, and 1 percent kids from birth until the age of 17 years have been diagnosed in the US with epilepsy. The CDC also estimates that the direct and indirect cost of epilepsy to the country is about $15.5 billion annually.

While epilepsy may be more common that people would like acknowledge, it is also true that many times healthcare providers misdiagnose other health conditions as epilepsy. As a result, the underlying condition is not treated and you end up getting treatment for a condition that you do not have. Some of the health conditions that get diagnosed as epilepsy include the following:

First Seizure

Sometimes, a person can get isolated seizures. This can occur in about 5 percent people where the cause is not epilepsy or high-grade fever. First seizure usually occurs before a person reaches the age of 25 and is more common in males than females.

Febrile Seizure

Febrile seizures are common among infants and young kids and occur due to high-grade fever. It can be frightening to see your little one having a febrile seizure, but you can take solace knowing that it will not damage the brain or harm your child in any way whatsoever.

Nonepileptic Seizure Disorder

This disorder may come across as epilepsy, but is not so in reality. It can occur in patients with narcolepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, arrhythmia and several other medical conditions. It can be tough for a doctor to distinguish between nonepileptic and epileptic seizure since the symptoms are very similar.


This is a life-threatening condition limited to pregnant women. It causes a sudden increase in blood pressure and unexpected seizures. According to statistics, one in every 2,000 to 3,000 pregnant women suffers from eclampsia.


Meninges are the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. If these membranes get infected by a virus or bacterium, they swell up, leading to meningitis. The symptoms of meningitis can be mistaken for epilepsy. It is prudent to remember that bacterium-caused meningitis can result in brain damage or it can be fatal. Hence, it requires proper and timely treatment.

Cardiac Disorders

It may sound surprising to learn that sometimes, doctors can misdiagnose cardiac disorders as epilepsy. This is because people with certain cardiac problems can end up having seizures, causing the specialists to diagnose it as epilepsy. However, if you have a good and experienced cardiologist, they should have no problems diagnosing the heart-related problem after careful and comprehensive evaluation.

In case you or a loved one has had the misfortune of getting some other health condition diagnosed as epilepsy, you should waste no time consulting a NY malpractice attorney, who has experience and expertise dealing with similar cases. Such a lawyer will review your case, including getting a medical expert onboard to assess the medical documents, and let you know whether you can get compensated on the grounds of malpractice.

At the Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff Law Firm or RMFW Law, you will be able to find experienced and highly knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys who will guide you on the right path. Contact us today at 212-697-9280 because RMFW Law knows how to win cases!

You pay us nothing up front and if we do not win or settle this case for you, you pay RMFW Law actually nothing! RMFW Law knows which legal windows to open and when to open them. Our track record is fabulous.