According to a patient survey, the diagnosis of interstitial lung disease, or ILD, in New York and across the rest of the nation is usually incorrect. The result of this common misdiagnosis often results in patients experiencing emotional stress.
The online survey, which is referred to as the Interstitial Lung Disease Patient Diagnostic Journey, or INTENSITY, was implemented jointly by Veracyte, a company that specializes in genome diagnostics, and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The survey addressed the difficulties associated with diagnosing ILD, including the challenges and lengthy time associated with obtaining an accurate diagnosis as well as the emotional and physical price patients incur.
The participants of the survey included 600 ILD patients, split evenly between men and women. Forty-seven percent, or 279 of the patients, had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, a chronic form of ILD that results in scarring in the lungs. The majority of the patients had received their diagnoses two to five years before the survey was conducted.
The responses to the survey indicated that 43 percent of the patients did not receive a diagnosis of the condition until more than a year after they first began exhibiting symptoms, which were primarily coughing and shortness of breath. Nineteen percent of the patients did not receive an accurate diagnosis until three or more years after first experiencing symptoms.
Over half of the respondents, 55 percent, received at least one incorrect diagnosis before being correctly diagnosed. Thirty-eight percent of the patients had received a minimum of two misdiagnoses.
Individuals who receive negligent medical treatment may have legal recourse. An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may pursue financial compensation against negligent physicians on behalf of clients whose misdiagnoses resulted in a worsened condition, unnecessary treatment, the spread of a disease, delayed treatment or death.