If you were to visit your clinic for a splitting headache, your doctor might brush it off and send you home with aspirin. You might insist that you already tried over-the-counter medication. You may plead with your doctor, certain that something isn't right, but they refuse to take the time to properly examine your illness. Unfortunately, this situation could eventually lead to grave misdiagnosis.
Most New Jersey residents will experience multiple headaches over their lifetime. Despite how common headaches are, however, they aren't always harmless. Sometimes, they can alert you to critical health issues that require urgent attention.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some headaches require medical care based on your symptoms. A few signs of significance include mental difficulties, vision impairment and paralysis, which could possibly indicate brain injury. Other factors your doctor should consider are the frequency, severity and onset of your headaches. The Mayo Clinic also suggests seeing a doctor if your headaches prevent you from working or sleeping.
Headaches can be symptomatic of an underlying medical problem. In serious cases, a misdiagnosis or delay can cause severe harm or even death. A fast, accurate diagnosis is necessary for blood clots, aneurysms, cancer and meningitis, among other conditions. Once you have a diagnosis, your doctor can treat your illness and possibly save your life.
If you did not receive the diagnosis that could have prevented complications, you might have the option of pursuing a medical malpractice claim against your provider. Family members who lost their loved ones from delayed or incorrect diagnosis may also be able to seek justice in a court of law. Although doctors can't see the future, they are supposed to do everything within reason to treat their patients.