Caused by inflammation of the airways, roughly 25.7 million Americans have asthma. Of those, 7 million are children, and symptoms such as coughing or wheezing may be caused by breathing in mold, pollen or other allergens. While it is unclear why people develop the condition, genetics may be partially to blame. Of those who responded to a Health Union survey, 52 percent said that an immediate family member also had asthma.
Roughly two-thirds of those who took the survey said that they experience symptoms once a week while 51 percent said that it impacted their quality of life. Common complaints included tiring easily or fear of the long-term ramifications of having asthma. However, doctors say that that symptoms may be reversible when patients take medication regularly and avoid whatever may be causing symptoms to occur.
While the condition can be managed, many have a hard time learning more about it or even getting a correct diagnosis. According to survey results, 44 percent of those with asthma say that they experienced symptoms before they became adults. However, roughly one-third of those who were eventually diagnosed were misdiagnosed or had to go through a series of tests before being diagnosed with asthma.
A patient who has been harmed because of a failure to diagnose a disease may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal recourse may be available. The attorney will need to determine whether such a failure constitute a breach by the practitioner of the duty of care, and in doing so will obtain the opinions of medical experts.