Lupus is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks a person’s tissues, and it is considered to be a chronic inflammatory disease. This disease is frequently misdiagnosed as other conditions, and one reason for this is because there is no definitive test that confirms that a person has lupus. When Pennsylvania doctors determine if patients have lupus, they will look at the symptoms and attempt to rule out other medical conditions.
Along with the fact that there is no definitive way to determine if someone has lupus through a test, this condition is difficult to diagnose because people’s symptoms may come and go. Further, lupus has many of the same symptoms as a number of other common medical conditions.
The symptoms of lupus may vary from person to person, but they can include fever, swollen joints, rashes, hair loss and fatigue. Depending on which symptoms present, they may indicate that a person has Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, depression or one of many thyroid disorders. There are dozens of potential diseases that may present symptoms that are similar to those of lupus, and lupus may also be caused by certain medications.
A failure to diagnose a disease in a timely manner can result in a worsened medical condition requiring additional aggressive and expensive treatment. Not every such error constitutes medical malpractice, however. An attorney for a patient who has been harmed in such a manner will need to demonstrate that there was a failure by the health care practitioner to exhibit the requisite standard of care. This could be done through obtaining the opinion testimony of one or more medical experts.