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Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and misdiagnoses

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

Among the many disorders that doctors tend to misdiagnose, Georgia residents should be aware of one called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. This blood-flow disorder affects the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for involuntary movements like heart rate, blood pressure and digestion.

In one study, POTS patients had to see an average of seven doctors over a period of four years before receiving the correct diagnosis. Another study found that nearly half of POTS patients were initially diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.

There is an explanation for this trend. For one thing, POTS symptoms are similar to those of depression and include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and constipation. Second, 80% of POTS patients are women, who are known to be more depression-prone than men. Third, women under 35 are most affected by POTS: in other words, women in whom there were no physical issues prior to their experiencing POTS symptoms.

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, the cause of POTS is unknown, though it has been linked to events like pregnancy and surgery. Doctors have no definite way of treating POTS, but the important thing is to increase blood pressure and blood volume. POTS patients can do this on their own through certain lifestyle changes: for example, consuming more salt and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

POTS patients may have a viable medical malpractice claim if they were harmed as a result of a doctor’s misdiagnosis. There are several requirements that must be met for a case to be valid, though, so victims may want a lawyer to provide an assessment. They may also have the lawyer handle all negotiations with the other side because things are bound to complicated. If a settlement cannot be achieved out of court, then the lawyer may suggest litigation.