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Women’s Health and Misdiagnosis: Do You Have a Claim?

About 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed every year, but some groups are especially likely to suffer dangerous diagnosis delays and incorrect diagnosis in the doctor’s office and ER. Women are among those groups, with studies showing that women are more likely to be misdiagnosed when they have cancer, heart disease, and other potentially-life threatening conditions.

If you’ve been affected by misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group to find out how our boutique law firm may be able to help.


What Types of Misdiagnoses Affect Women?

Many kinds if missed diagnoses and delays can affect women:

  • Cancer misdiagnosis and diagnostic delay. Some cancers—notably ovarian cancer—don’t currently have specific diagnostic tests. Doctors rely on diagnosing these cancers by evaluating symptoms, but early symptoms of ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and other cancers women face can be subtle and the symptoms can easily be dismissed.
  • Post-birth misdiagnosis. During and after birth, women are at increased risk of bleeding, a weakening of heart muscles, postpartum depression, and other serious illnesses. Their babies are also at risk of birth injuries. Despite this, these conditions are often not diagnosed correctly.
  • Heart disease. Even though heart disease is the leading cause of fatalities in women, studies show that women are 50% more likely than men to be misdiagnosed following a heart attack.
  • Gynecological and hormonal conditions. Women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, and other conditions can suffer severe pain. They may also face challenges with fertility. Despite this, women sometimes wait years before getting a correct diagnosis. Some women report that their symptoms were minimized or dismissed by doctors.
  • Autoimmune diseases. Most autoimmune disease sufferers are women, and it can take years to get a diagnosis. Some women report trouble getting diagnostic testing that’s needed for a diagnosis.
  • Sleep apnea. For many years, researchers believed that men were more likely to suffer sleep apnea, which can disrupt sleep and can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Today, research shows sleep apnea is common among women, especially post-menopause, but many women still struggle to get an accurate diagnosis.

The consequences for delayed or missed diagnosis can be heartbreaking. According to JAMA Internal Medicine, almost 1 in 4 patients who end up dying or in the ICU had a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. And according to the BMJ Quality & Safety journal, 795,000 patients are permanently disabled or pass away each year because of diagnostic errors.

The news is worse for women. One study found that women are diagnosed, on average, two and a half years later than their male counterparts when it comes to cancer and diagnosed an average of four years later for 700 other medical conditions.

These delays can create complications and cost lives. Cancer that isn’t caught early, for example, can progress until it is no longer treatable. Untreated heart disease can lead to heart failure or a sudden heart attack.

What Rights Do I Have?

In Florida, any patient has the right to seek a legal claim if they have been injured by a doctor in a situation where there was a doctor-patient relationship and where they were injured because the medical professional failed to deliver a reasonable standard of care.

These cases can be complex, and it can be difficult to tell whether you even have a claim. That’s why you may wish to call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to schedule a consultation with a Florida medical malpractice attorney. Our attorneys in our Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood offices can explain whether you have a case, how much your claim may be worth, who the liable parties could be, and how viable your case may be. You’ll also get a chance to ask questions, so you understand your position and can make a smart decision about what to do next.

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