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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

POTS often misdiagnosed as psychiatric disorder

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2020 | Malpractice

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome affects an estimated 1 to 3 million people across the U.S. with 80% of the patients being women, especially women under 35. POTS is a disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system, the part that controls involuntary movements like digestions, blood flow and heart rate. It is characterized by circulatory problems that appear when Pennsylvania patients go from lying down to standing up.

POTS is frequently misdiagnosed. A study from the U.K. found that nearly half of POTS patients were thought of as having a psychiatric disorder before receiving the correct diagnosis. Another study found that patients had to see an average of seven doctors over the course of four years before being diagnosed with POTS.

A misdiagnosis can be easy when the symptoms, which range from dizziness and fatigue to nausea and bloating, can easily be attributed to depression. Another factor is how the disorder mostly affects the young, who are otherwise in good physical health. A third factor is that the disorder affects mostly women, who are more susceptible to depression. Doctors do not know the cause of POTS, though events like surgery or pregnancy seem to trigger it. As for medical treatments, none exist, but lifestyle changes aimed at increasing blood volume and blood pressure may help.

POTS patients who were harmed because of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis may seek compensation. For example, they may have undergone unnecessary treatments while their true condition worsened and caused irreparable harm. Some malpractice claims end in million-dollar settlements, so it’s natural that the other side will be aggressive in denying such claims. Victims may want a lawyer to help them throughout the process.