During a checkup or when a patient suspects something is wrong, it is crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people in Las Vegas and elsewhere may go weeks or months before their symptoms are properly identified and treated. When the illness is severe, delaying the correct treatment could mean the difference between life and death.

Some medical conditions, such as a flu or mild bacterial infection, may pass harmlessly regardless of treatment, whether or not a doctor properly identifies what is wrong. However, many serious illnesses begin with flu-like symptoms, and a doctor might send the patient home without vital medications or further testing. CBS News reports that every year, about 12 million people are misdiagnosed in doctors’ offices and outpatient clinics. Half of these misdiagnoses may result in serious medical problems if they are not caught quickly.

According to CNN, some of the most common illnesses that are misdiagnosed include fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, celiac disease, Lyme disease and several types of cancer. One can imagine the potential repercussions for delaying treatment or getting the wrong treatment for a serious illness. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for doctors to misinterpret test results, to order the wrong kind of diagnostic test or to come to the wrong conclusion based on a patient’s vague or confusing symptoms. If a patient’s medical history is incomplete, this might compound a physician’s ability to make an accurate diagnosis.

Doctors are often in a rush these days, and they might miss important clues that point toward a serious illness. Patients may be eligible for compensation if a misdiagnosis resulted in adverse consequences.