Pneumonia Misdiagnosis

Pneumonia is a medical condition typically caused by an infection that results in inflammation in the lungs. Pneumonia symptoms include fever, chills and aches in the muscles, head and chest. A tired feeling and a cough usually accompany pneumonia as well. In general, pneumonia is an easily treated condition. However, when patients have other health concerns or when treatment is put off, pneumonia can become deadly. If a doctor misdiagnoses pneumonia, it can lead to a life-threatening situation.

How is Pneumonia Usually Diagnosed?

When symptoms of pneumonia first make themselves known, you should consult with a doctor. At the doctor’s office, your doctor will listen to your chest and lungs for the typical cracking, rumbling sounds that come with pneumonia. X-rays are also used to confirm diagnosis and pinpoint the location of the infection. Blood tests may also be done to determine if the pneumonia is caused by bacteria or a virus, the two most common causes.

Can a Doctor Misdiagnose Pneumonia?

Sometimes doctors do make mistakes. They can misread the results of X-rays or blood tests, leading to the wrong medications being prescribed. They can also completely fail to order blood tests or X-rays on the assumption that the pneumonia is actually a different illness. Pneumonia does share symptoms with several other conditions, such as: