In many cases, people in Arizona and throughout the United States suffering with a rare disease may face difficulty when seeking a correct diagnosis and treatment for the disease. This difficulty may be due to the fact that most doctors tend to concentrate on diseases that are commonly known.
In the United States, more than 30 million people suffer with some form of a rare disease, and about 15 million of those individuals are children. The amount could be higher if undiagnosed patients were included, however. The National Institute of Health reports that more than 7,000 diseases are classified in the US as rare.
One of the biggest challenges facing patients suffering with a rare disease is finding a doctor who can give them the right diagnosis and treatment. Because most medical doctors are trained to spot only common symptoms and conditions of illnesses, they may mistake a rare disease for a common one. Complicating matters is the fact that while two people may be suffering from the same rare disease, they may each have their own unique symptoms. As a result, the doctor may misdiagnose the patient or delay treatment, which could cause the patient’s disease to get progressively worse. Further, once the patient finds a specialist who may be able to offer an accurate diagnosis and treatment, the specialist’s calendar could be completely booked, or the specialist could be unaffordable.
Doctors and other medical practitioners who misdiagnose a patient could cause the patient to suffer with ongoing physical problems and chronic pain as the disease advances, which could put the patient’s life in jeopardy. People in similar circumstances might consider meeting with a medical malpractice attorney to find out whether to file a claim for compensation. A lawyer may be able to help lay out a misdiagnosis victim’s legal options and advise him or her on the best course of action.