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Five Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions in Florida


Lack of evidence is usually at the heart of most medical misdiagnosis cases in the Sunshine State. This lack of evidence begins during medical examinations. On average, doctors listen to patients describe their symptoms for only about eleven seconds. It’s impossible to formulate a preliminary evidence-based diagnosis based on such a short interaction.

Making matters worse, many doctors do not order a full range of diagnostic tests. Other doctors delegate all related tasks, including results interpretation, to nurses or medical technicians. Sometimes, critical evidence is missing. Other times, things get lost in translation.

This combination of factors often leads to misdiagnosis, as outlined below. Since doctors have such a high standard of care in these cases, a Tampa personal injury attorney might be able to obtain substantial compensation in these situations. Victims need this compensation to pay medical bills. It’s also important to hold negligent doctors accountable for the mistakes they make. Otherwise, future patients are at risk.

Head Injuries

Frequently, doctors rely on signature symptoms to diagnose injuries. Most people experience such symptoms, mostly unconsciousness and vomiting. But a significant number do not. Perhaps they are disoriented and nauseous.

Brain injuries are degenerative. If not diagnosed promptly and properly, they get worse. The initial symptoms give way to sleeplessness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), mood swings, and personality changes.

Due to these diagnosis problems, doctors often say that brain injuries are shock from the accident or early-onset dementia.

Heart Attacks

Similarly, many heart attack victims do not experience signature symptoms. For example, many women do not have chest pains. Additionally, many older people only have indigestion-like chest pains. Crushing chest pains are usually in younger heart attack victims.

Moreover, many doctors consider heart attacks to be lifestyle or genetic conditions. If the patient has no obvious risk factors, doctors hardly ever diagnose heart attacks. This issue comes up again in cancer diagnosis, as outlined below.


This condition is especially common among middle-aged women. They usually have generalized pain throughout their bodies. The discomfort comes and goes. Since there is no obvious pattern or core cause, many doctors misdiagnose fibromyalgia as arthritis. That’s especially true if the patient is not a middle-aged female.

Unfortunately, many arthritis treatments are absolutely useless against fibromyalgia. As a result, the patient’s condition deteriorates, and the fibromyalgia becomes more difficult to treat.


There is a difference between situational depression and chemical depression. Situational depression is sadness over the death of a friend, job loss, or other adverse life event. These people usually get better in time. Chemical depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This form of depression does not improve until the chemical balance is restored.

Both these kinds of depression have basically the same symptoms. So, it’s difficult for doctors to tell the difference, especially if they seldom interact with their patients.


According to some estimates, the cancer misdiagnosis rate might be twice the normal misdiagnosis rate. Since most doctors consider cancer a lifestyle or genetic disease, they hardly ever diagnose the illness in people with none of these red flags.

Cancer survival rates have increased significantly since the 1990s. But that’s assuming the disease is diagnosed promptly and treated properly. A delay in either area could quite literally be the difference between life and death.

Contact Dedicated Lawyers

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical malpractice issues in Florida. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa medical malpractice lawyer, contact The Matassini Law Firm. Since 1976, we have helped victims of medical malpractice and their families seek justice in Florida. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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