POTS: a blood-flow disorder prone to misdiagnosis

Perhaps you were diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome after numerous misdiagnoses. The delay has harmed you and led you to undergo unnecessary treatments in New York City, and you’re wondering if you could be compensated for these losses. Diagnostic errors are behind a significant number of medical malpractice claims. POTS is a relatively rare and little-known disease as it affects between 1 and 3 million Americans, but it may conceivably form the basis for such a claim.

The characteristics of POTS

POTS is a blood-flow disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system and, by extension, those bodily functions that require no conscious effort like heart rate and blood pressure. POTS patients often suffer from headaches and dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea and constipation. These are the result of circulatory problems that occur when patients go from lying down to standing: a condition called orthostatic intolerance.

Why POTS is misdiagnosed

Eighty percent of POTS patients are women, most of them under 35. You may begin to see why POTS can be easily misdiagnosed. According to one study, nearly half of POTS patients are initially diagnosed with depression or another psychiatric disorder. The symptoms are similar, and depression also affects young people with no prior physical health issues. Women, too, run a higher risk for depression than men.

It appears, though, that better education on POTS would be in order. One study found that POTS patients must see an average of seven doctors before they are diagnosed with POTS. These visits to the doctor can, on average, span a period of four years. No medical treatment for POTS exists; even its cause has not been determined.

A lawyer for local representation

Should you file a claim under medical malpractice law, you may face opposition from the hospital or the individual doctor. The defendant may counter that the delay in diagnosis was not from negligence since POTS is rare and unfamiliar to most doctors. For this and other reasons, you may want a lawyer and his or her network of investigators to help with the case.

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