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Knoxville Medical Malpractice Attorney > Blog > Nursing Home Malpractice > What are the Most Common Types of Misdiagnoses in Nursing Homes?

What are the Most Common Types of Misdiagnoses in Nursing Homes?


Any healthcare professional can make a mistake and misdiagnose a patient. When this occurs in nursing homes, though, it is extremely dangerous for residents. Nursing home residents are older and their bodies are much more fragile. A misdiagnosis will not only result in residents not getting the care they need, but they may also be prescribed medications or other treatments that are unnecessary and actually harmful.

Sadly, misdiagnoses in nursing homes are more common than many people think. Below, our Knoxville nursing home malpractice attorney outlines the most common types of misdiagnoses that occur in these facilities.

What is a Misdiagnosis? 

People often mistake a misdiagnosis with a missed diagnosis, but the two do differ from each other. A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to diagnose a patient with any condition or illness, but the patient is actually suffering. On the other hand, a misdiagnosis occurs when a patient is diagnosed with a different condition or illness than the one they are actually suffering from. Both missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are acts of negligence, and healthcare professionals can be held liable for them.

Common Misdiagnoses in Nursing Homes 

Inaccurate diagnoses often occur because there are some conditions that are harder to diagnose than others. There are four conditions that are more commonly misdiagnosed than others, which makes it even more important to monitor them. These four conditions are as follows:

  • Cancer: With the many advances in technology today, cancer has become easier to detect over the years. Still, symptoms often do not appear until it is too late. Regardless of a person’s age, cancer is always very difficult to beat but when it is not diagnosed right away, it is even harder. The cancer can spread and become worse and by the time a correct diagnosis is made, it may be too late for the patient.
  • Heart attacks: Heart attacks have varying levels of pain and so, they are often misdiagnosed as indigestion or an anxiety attack. Heart attacks are much more common among older individuals, and they are also more deadly, as nursing home residents may not be able to recover from them as quickly.
  • Depression: Due to their outlook on life and their environment, nursing home residents sometimes suffer from depression. Depression is not always easy to spot, but if it is left untreated it can result in worsened overall health.
  • Strokes: Stroke symptoms are often confused as vertigo, intoxication, and even migraines. For nursing home residents, a stroke can be nearly impossible to recover from.

Our Nursing Home Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Can Help with a Misdiagnosis

 A misdiagnosis can cause anyone to suffer harm but for nursing home residents, they are particularly fatal. At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our Knoxville nursing home malpractice attorney can help you and your family recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to request a free review of your case and to learn more about your legal options.



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