General Question

Aster's avatar

Have you been dangerously misdiagnosed or neglected by medical personnel?

Asked by Aster (19062points) August 9th, 2010

I haven’t but my ex FIL was prescribed the wrong medication and was sliding out of his chair. My dad’s urine bag wasn’t emptied and it backed up which was dangerous and painful. How about you? Could you have died from medical maltreatment or neglect?

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24 Answers

cookieman's avatar

No – but I have been overcautiously misdiagnosed.

Symptoms I was experiencing led my doctor to believe I was having/had a heart attack. I was immediately admitted and spend four days getting multiple tests and being observed.

They never figured out exactly what it was, but it wasn’t a heart attack. Stress, most likely.

JLeslie's avatar

Not me, but my mom and dad each have had poorly prescribed medications that could have put their life in danger.

My dad, I happen to know the two meds he was prescribed together are contraindicated and can be deadly, black box warning, so he ever took them together.

My mom, had been prescribed a med, a prep for a colonscopy, and had a very bad reaction, extremely high uncontrollable blood pressure, I had not known at the time it happened. When she needed the procedure again the doc prescribed the same med and completely ignored what she told him about what happened last time. My mom asked me about it, and I explained to her why that drug probably raised her blood pressure. I looked up the medication and it explicity says it is contraindicated with a medication she takes daily. We got the name of an alternative drug that would be safe for her procedure.

Idiots. Computerizing drugs and centralziing info gives me hope that things like this will be less likely to happen.

With both examples these meds are meds that are prescribed daily by these doctors, it is inexcusable that they don’t have a basic knowledge of what is contraindicated. In my dads example both drugs were made by the same pharm company, and those reps were supposed to emphasize not to prescribe them together, I have a girlfried who worked for that company, that is how I knew by luck the doctor was trying to kill my dad, because she mentioned it to me once.

chyna's avatar

I was told by a doctor that I had cataracts. I was very young at that time (still am :-)), but I believed him and he convinced me to get a lens implant. I did read up on them and the odds were something like 98% that I would have 20/20 eyesight again. I got the lens implant, but it was not 20/20 and my eye stays dry. So I went back 2 years later (slow learner that I am) and he says the other one has a cataract, I need to have surgery immediately. I got a second opinion from a very well known eye doctor who said I didn’t even have the beginnings of a cataract. Makes me believe I didn’t in the other eye either.

JilltheTooth's avatar

It took 6 years and 5 doctors to diagnose my kidney problem and then it was only found because I insisted they do a certain test that they said I didn’t need. TA DA! There it was. If someone had bothered to check (very simple test) right away I wouldn’t have lost so much of my kidney. Kinda pisses me off it never got to life threatening or dialysis but it was pointless…..

Aster's avatar

@chyna Was he trying to escape blame ? Dry eye is the main problem with the implants. My husband got them and he never says much. Weird. A friend go them and she has or had dry eye too.

Fly's avatar

I have been misdiagnosed by several doctors who were quick to assume that my condition was nothing serious. As I described in more detail in a previous answer, I had daily headaches and occasional migraines that doctors assumed were somewhat normal, came at the onset of puberty and were nothing to be concerned about, etc., despite several visits to the doctor and complaints that his suggestions were not helping. They went on this way for about four years but ended up causing me dangerous levels of dizziness, disorientation, etc. in the fifth year. Doctors still didn’t think that it was a big concern and chalked it up to vertigo that should go away within a few days. But when it didn’t, after several more visits to the doctor, they finally recommended me to a neurologist who diagnosed me with a migraine disorder on the very first visit. If someone had just taken it more seriously the first time, it could have been diagnosed years ago and have prevented the dizziness from ever even happening. I doubt that I would have died from it had it gone untreated longer, but it was definitely dangerous and caused me a lot of trouble.

Austinlad's avatar

No, thank goodness. I’ve been fortunate all my life to have had excellent surgeons and doctors I trusted and who never let me down. Skeptical friends have often told me I shouldn’t be as trusting I am, but so far I’ve had no reason to be otherwise. This is not to say I blindly follow a doctor’s advic—there have been times I got a second opinion as was the case, for example, when one surgeon suggest I have a second round of surgey on my back. I decided against that, and have never regretted it.

chyna's avatar

@Aster He was just trying to make money. I should have gotten a second opinion the first time, but I was excited about the idea of having 20/20 vision again. I learned my lesson.

earthduzt's avatar

I haven’t but my Uncle on my father’s side has.. as a child had a club foot and when they went in to fix the issue, they gave him adult dosage of anestisia (he was about 2 year old) after that he had serious brain damage, so bad that he had to be put in a home.

JLeslie's avatar

@earthduzt OMG. That is awful.

CherrySempai's avatar

Not dangerously so, but the doctor’s can’t seem to make up their minds if I have breast cancer or not. I’ve been to five doctors this summer (they keep telling me these other specialists to go to) so I go. Back in April, the doctor at my college told me 19 year olds don’t need to worry about breast cancer and that the lump would go away on it’s own within a month. (It was just my “body changing.”) Four months and five doctors later, they aren’t so sure anymore and want to operate. I go back to school on Saturday, and they just told me two days ago that they want to operate. I just don’t know what to think about the fact that I might have cancer. :) (Right when I start liking my hair, figures.)

JLeslie's avatar

@CherrySempai When you say operate, do you mean get a biopsy? I do know a 24 year old who had breast cancer, but it is very rare. Can you feel the lump? Is it perfectly round and hard like a pea?

Aster's avatar

@CherrySempai Do this at your own risk!!! In 1988 I had a hard lump. I was selling supplements at the time, did some reading up and took 800 IE of Vitamin E for 3 wks AND 1,000 mg of bee propolis. It disappeared. Never saw a doctor. Plugged up milk duct? Hormonal imbalance?? I’ll never know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster The thing is most likely if you had had multiple opinions some of them would have thought it was nothing. Did a doctor tell you it was cancer? It seems @CherrySempai has a situation where several doctors are unclear, unless she is misunderstanding or I am misinterpreting what she has written. I had a cyst when I was in my late teens, my doctor found it during a yearly exam and should me where it was. Perfectly round, maybe 5 milimeters in diameter. I got a second opinion and he agreed it was nothing. It eventually went away on it’s own. It was in the general area of where my bra wire hits under my breast, maybe it had aggravated the area.

Aster's avatar

@JLeslie I never had an opinion. I never saw a doctor. Maybe it Did go away on its own and had nothing to do with the Vt E. You’re right.

Mariah's avatar

I had been sick with digestive problems for several months and was on IV nutrition to treat it. As I started feeling better I started trying to exercise a bit to recover some of the strength I had lost over the many months I’d spent sick. That’s when my body began to feel extremely sore, all over. I couldn’t even walk. Easily the worst pain in my life, and I’ve had kidney stones, so that’s not to be taken lightly.

I went to the local ER because the pain was really scaring me. They didn’t do any tests, they didn’t even have me examined by a doctor. A nurse told me I’d probably been exercising too much, that it was just normal muscle pain, that I just needed to take it easy, and sent me away.

Luckily I didn’t take that as a satisfactory answer and I went to a different hospital about an hour away. They did blood cultures and admitted me overnight. I woke up the next morning shaking uncontrollably. My IV line had gotten infected, it was septic, and it had managed to progress to septic shock unnoticed. I was just lucky that I was where I was when I crashed because something like ⅔ of people who reach that stage of infection die.

Yeah, I don’t go to that local hospital anymore.

tedibear's avatar

I have not had a serious misdiagnosis, although a doctor told me I had bursitis in my hip when what I really had was a pulled muscle.

However, my mom had a very serious misdiagnosis. She had a tickle in her throat that grew to a cough that wouldn’t go away. Her doctor told her it was allergies, told her to take Dimetapp for the cough. She did and it didn’t help. This progress to her feeling tired, but she wrote it off as not sleeping well from the cough. Then she started to retain water like nothing I’ve ever seen. She kept going back to the doctor, but he didn’t run any tests. Her doctor had a heart attack and she ended up having to go to someone else. She recognized there was a bigger problem and sent my mom to a hospital in Buffalo. By then, it was too late. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s and that she had about 6 months to live. She lived about 2 months after that.

CherrySempai's avatar

@JLeslie and @aster No, they said we could biopsy if we wanted to. :] But they wanted to go ahead and take it out (that’s the opperation I mean!) It’s the size of a golf ball (really huge, in my opinion. .) It’s not fluid, so they can’t drain it. It’s very hard and solid, but doesn’t hurt. The doctors say each case is different, that’s why they aren’t sure. The ultrasound at first said it was a benign tumor, but then they changed their mind and said it might be cancerous. I don’t know anymore! (They said at my age, there’s a 2% chance it’s cancer. While that’s supposed to comfort me, someone always has to be the 2%. :])

@aster Oh, thank you for the tip! :) I’ll definitely look into that! My mom found these oils that are apparently supposed to make the lump dissolve? (I personally don’t believe this, but I’ve been putting the oil on morning/evening, and I really hope there’s some results.) If one of those don’t work, I’ll probably just get it removed over Fall Break. They said it would probably just keep getting bigger…but it’s already the size of a golf ball. :/

shilolo's avatar

@CherrySempai I hate to wade into this morass, but I fear you are getting some bad advice. I would strongly suggest listening to your doctors and having the lumpectomy. If it is benign, you have piece of mind, if it’s malignant (i.e. cancer), then catching it earlier is invariably better than waiting and taking the risk of the cancer spreading. Early breast cancer surgery is almost always curative, whereas waiting until it spreads increases the chances of a bad outcome. Meanwhile, it is true that women your age rarely get breast cancer, but then again, 1% of all breast cancers are in MEN. Rare things happen rarely, but they do happen.

JLeslie's avatar

@CherrySempai A golf ball is very big to me also. I agree with @shilolo I think I would have the surgery. That was my point to @Aster was it sounded like you had seen several docs and they want to err on the side of caution, and I agree from what you have told us. My situation was very different, and had two medical opinions who agreed it was likely nothing to worry about. I personally know a man who had breat cancer, and that 24 year old woman who had it, so every so often that 1 or 2% really does rear its ugly head. I don’t want to scare you, I’m sure you are already a little nervous, but it sounds like you need to take it seriously. Breast cancer that spreads is a really bad situation, getting it early is important.

One thing, I don’t understand why they can’t do a small biopsy first, and if it is negative just leave things alone? I am not a doctor, just wondered if that idea had been discussed?

Aster's avatar

@CherrySempai A GOLF BALL?? Gosh. Mine was the size of a pinto bean.
Again: I am not giving advise and I never saw ANY doctors! I do not know What mine was and I never will know.

CherrySempai's avatar

Ah, thank you for the advice. :] @Aster Yes, a golfball. xD It’s quite annoying, really. Makes them a little uneven, in my opinion….

I talked to the specialist again today. She said she really does believe it’s benign, but gave me the three options again. 1) Just live with it/do nothing (it’s not harmful, so let’s leave it alone.) 2) Do the biopsy, just to make sure. 3) Take it out (the operation. They explained the operation to me, and it’s a one day in-and-out thing, and they said I’ll be doing everything fine the next day.) She said most women choose option 3 (just incase it gets bigger/is annoying.)

My mom and I figured we would skip step 2 (due to my doc’s recent words, saying how strongly they believe it’s benign =]) and just go ahead and schedule the operation for my Fall or Thanksgiving Break. If it does go away/get a lot smaller, we’ll cancel, but I feel much more comfortable with this decision! :]

@JLeslie To your last question, yes that was discussed! :] The first few doctors just judged by feel, though, then I got the ultrasound later. Which led to the possible biopsy, but when I went to get the biopsy, the doctor didn’t even do it…she just talked. I’m very new at this, so I just went along with the physical exam and then her lecturing me a bit on what it could possibly be. :] (Of course, the one weekend my mom goes out of town is when I can’t act like an adult and get the little biopsy….)

@shilolo Thanks. :] I think I’m definitely going to do that, and I hope it’s soon enough. But right now everything is looking positive, and I’m pretty sure it’s not cancer! =]

Well, thank you everyone!

JLeslie's avatar

@CherrySempai I think your decision sounds very reasonable. Good luck with everything. It does sound like it is benign, thank goodness, but since it is so big, if it did grow it might become more difficult to remove, and then the surgery and possibly the shape of your breast could be more affected.

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