Misdiagnosis of Chest Pain
Undiagnosed Heart Attack: Sadly, many people with a heart attack are diagnosed too late. Patients may attribute their symptoms to a less serious condition, such as reflux/GERD, or angina. Delaying seeking medical attention greatly worsens the prognosis for a heart attack. Read more about: Symptoms of Heart Attack.
Undiagnosed Other Dangerous Diseases: There are many diseases on the list of causes that are potentially fatal, not just heart attack. Chest pain needs to be taken seriously, especially if severe or sudden, but also it can be serious even if mild and ongoing. Deadly causes include: heart attack, pulmonary embolism, aortic aneurysm, and many others on the list.
Over-Diagnosed Heart Attack: The reverse misdiagnosis is also commonly made by patients. They get chest pain and immediately assume that is a life-threatening heart attack. One common scenario is an anxiety/panic attack, whereby the fear of heart attack further exacerbates the panic. Also common is the fear of heart attack, where the actual diagnosis is less serious: reflux (GERD), chest muscle strain, etc. Doctors are better at diagnosing than patients.
Undiagnosed Pneumonia: When a person has a respiratory infection, such as a common cold, flu, or similar, it can progress to a complication of pneumonia. However, the pneumonia may only be detected late, since the patient already has acute symptoms like fever and cough.
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