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Misdiagnosis common among asthma sufferers

Many Connecticut residents live with asthma. Nationwide, over 25 million people have the condition that inflames and constricts their lung airways. About 7 million of them are children. A survey of asthma patients conducted by Health Union revealed that close to one in three respondents reported that they had been initially misdiagnosed or endured a prolonged series of tests before receiving an accurate diagnosis of asthma.

A personal story shared by a patient at the online community Asthma.net illustrated the difficulties experienced by people who have it. The woman learned that she had the condition in her mid 20s after living with annual bouts of bronchitis since she was 16. She now wheezes when she breathes and has a lingering cough. Her general practitioner had given her breathing treatments for all of those years along with a prescription for an emergency-relief inhaler. When given a medicine for daily control, she said her physician did not teach her how or when to use it. The medicine did not relieve her sudden onset symptoms. Only later did she discover that she was using the wrong medicine at the wrong time.

One respiratory therapist explained that asthma patients can experience significant improvements if they receive a properly applied regimen of medications and avoid triggers such as chemical fumes, molds and viruses. He advised people who consider their rescue inhalers as their primary medicine to get a new medical evaluation.

When a physician fails to diagnose someone's condition adequately, harm can result from improper treatments and a worsened condition. A person who believes that a misdiagnosis led to additional medical problems might want to meet with an attorney in order to see whether such error constituted compensable medical malpractice.

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