New research surrounding asthma diagnosis among children will have raised serious concerns among parents this week.
The study suggests more than half of the one million children diagnosed with the condition in the UK may not actually have the disease.
The shock revelation means that many of those who have been misdiagnosed may be at risk from the side effects of their medication.
Researchers from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, Holland, looked at the medical records of 656 children diagnosed with asthma at four centres. They found that 53 per cent were found to have no clinical signs of the condition.
Over-treatment is a particular concern because some of the drugs used to manage asthma can have significant side-effects including muscle cramps, throat infections, tremors, vomiting and nausea. Children with asthma often avoid exercise, which can lead to weight problems.
Experts were already aware of the over-diagnosis of the condition – but not the scale of the problem.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence says that too often doctors are basing diagnosis on case history of breathing problems, wheezing and coughs rather than any clinical tests.
Incorrect diagnosis can lead to unnecessary suffering – and even death – if the wrong course of treatment is provided to a patient. The failure to identify a medical condition in its early stages means it can be much harder to combat further down the line. Patients may face a longer recovery period, be forced to endure surgery or suffer injury or impairment.
How can Gotelee Solicitors help?
Doctors are human – and, like everyone else, make mistakes. But they owe their patients a duty of care – and if they fail to reach the proper standards by acting negligently, patients have a right to seek damages.
Making a claim can help a patient deal with the financial consequences of that negligence, as well as providing closure and helping to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated.
Gotelee has a wealth of experience in this area and can advise you whether or not you have the basis of a claim. If you do, we can support you through this process at any of our offices; Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe or Woodbridge.
To find out more, contact myself or one of the team on 01473 298125 or email [email protected]