It's mind-boggling that science and doctors can still leave us shocked and bewildered. It's true that the human body is still a huge mystery and even doctors are sometimes shocked to see something beyond their comprehension. Sometimes, when they don’t have answers to medical mysteries they call it a miracle.
However, we're not here to discuss miracles, but the errors committed by doctors due to their sheer neglect or ignorance. A correct diagnosis is essential in successfully treating a patient - the implications otherwise can be life threatening for the patient.
Shockingly, the Institute of Medicine revealed that every year, 12 million people are misdiagnosed by a doctor. The report also shared that most people in America suffered from at least one misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in their lifetime. Of course, it's not easy to be a doctor. But, in most cases of misdiagnoses, the error could have been prevented by a better sense of judgement on the doctor's behalf, and by carefully examining the symptoms.
When it comes to a mother and her unborn baby, it can be heart wrenching to hear bad news from a doctor. Just imagine when that bad news turns out to be an inaccurate diagnosis. The anguish of a mother cannot be expressed in words. Always go for a second or third opinion after a shocking diagnosis to be completely sure before taking any irreversible action.
15 Adeline Was Misdiagnosed With Severe Deformities
When Ida got her first sonogram at 10 weeks, the doctor seemed a bit troubled by it and referred her to another doctor to perform some detailed tests. When they consulted the second doctor, the couple was shocked for two reasons. The doctors told them that their baby was severely deformed and the chances of her survival were 1 in 10. Andy and Ida were told that their daughter had a hole in her spine and her intestines were developing outside her body. They further said that there were cysts in her brain and that the baby would never be able to walk.
If this diagnosis wasn’t shocking enough, the parents were surprised by the doctor's complete lack of professionalism. The doctors recommended that Ida abort the baby. However, Ida and Andy agreed that they would never be able to do such a thing. In a scan done later they came to know that their daughter was fine except that she might have Down syndrome. As it turns out, Adeline was born perfect. She neither had any deformity nor any signs of Down syndrome.
14 Inexperienced Sonographer Caused Dismay
Parents go for their first scan with a lot of excitement to see their baby for the very first time. But these hopes were doused for a mother when a sonographer had almost written off her baby. After half an hour into the scan, the inexperienced sonographer told the parents that their baby wasn’t developing properly.
The baby’s stomach wasn’t proportional to the head circumference, and the possible reason could be placental insufficiency. He told the mother that she had deep, or 40% placental lakes. He also told the parents that the Doppler test showed that the baby was struggling. His diagnosis ..err misdiagnosis, was IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction).
The parents went into shock. Fortunately, mom decided to consult a specialist the next day. After the scan, he grinned at the previous diagnosis and said that the baby is perfectly ordinary. The specialist told them that during the previous scan, the baby was upside down and all measurements could not be trusted. Today, her 1-year old son is a living testimony to the untrustworthiness of ultrasounds.
13 Misdiagnosed Miscarriage
There have been many cases of misdiagnosed miscarriage, but some women were pleasantly surprised when they found later that they were still pregnant. A mother at 5 weeks was misdiagnosed with a miscarriage after she experienced heavy cramping and bleeding. The ultrasound showed a blighted ovum, which means that the embryo was missing from the sac. The doctor diagnosed it as a miscarriage.
The mother mourned her miscarriage for 2 weeks and she unknowingly risked the health of her baby who was still alive by getting drunk with beer and wine. She didn’t go for a D&C until after two weeks passed. Just before the procedure during the ultrasound, the physician said that she was still very much pregnant with a 7-week old embryo. Later, she found out that sometimes, the embryo takes time to attach itself to the uterus and the bleeding might have occurred due to the implantation process.
12 Misdiagnosed Case Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a rare condition where the embryo gets implanted in the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. When it happens, it's life threatening for the mother as there is a risk of the tube getting ruptured, causing massive internal bleeding.
This happened to a newly married couple. The mother was bleeding and in severe pain. When they rushed to the doctor, he diagnosed the pregnancy as an ectopic pregnancy as he couldn’t find any embryonic evidence in the womb. The doctor gave the woman methotrexate, which is used to deplete the mother’s body of all folic acid so that the baby can’t grow. However, when she went for a follow up, the ultrasound showed the embryo in the uterus. Since she took the drug to end the pregnancy she soon miscarried.
Ectopic pregnancy in itself is a rare occurrence, however many doctors jump the gun too quickly and take action for what could have been a viable pregnancy. In fact, 40% of viable pregnancies are ended due to a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.
11 Twins Or Fibroids?
A mother-to-be was 6 months pregnant when she went for her first ultrasound. To her surprise, the doctor said that they couldn’t find the baby. This diagnosis was completely against all the pregnancy symptoms the mom was facing. So to confirm, they performed several scans to find the baby, but the only thing the doctors could conclude was that she had fibroids.
However, the mother was convinced that she was pregnant as her belly was enlarged and nipples were sore. Her urine test also showed positive results for pregnancy. She consulted several doctors and visited many hospitals. But she got the same result everywhere. They all reported her pregnancy to be nothing but the presence of fibroids. However, she kept her hopes alive and after nearly 7 weeks of extreme despair, she delivered twins successfully.
10 Doc Misdiagnosed Pregnancy As Menopause
A mother gave birth to a child with Down syndrome at the age of 48. She came to know about her pregnancy only at 33 weeks. The mother consulted her doctor after she complained of tiredness, vaginal bleeding and emotional outbursts. The doctor diagnosed her as having menopausal symptoms and asked her to return if her symptoms didn’t subside. She also told the doctor about her asthmatic symptoms for which she took medication.
Four months later, the mother took a home pregnancy test, which came back positive, and when she consulted her doctor, she confirmed the pregnancy. She didn’t want to have a child at that age and wanted to terminate the pregnancy, but it was too late. The baby was born 2 months afterwards with Down syndrome. Later, she sued the doctor successfully and claimed damages for misdiagnosis on the basis of failing to obtain a history of the patient for a correct diagnosis.
9 Mom With Blocked Tubes Became Pregnant
Lori Cichewicz was in her late 40s when her doctor told her that if she conceives, there were very high chances that her child will be born with Down syndrome. So she decided not to get pregnant. She went to a doctor to get a permanent birth control procedure done. She was told by the doctor that she had a blockage in her fallopian tubes so she didn’t need any procedure. The doctor went onto advise Lori that she didn’t even need to use birth control.
However, Lori became pregnant three years after this diagnosis. In 2011, she gave birth to her daughter who has Down syndrome. Although Lori says that she loved her baby from the moment she found out was pregnant, she didn’t want to become pregnant as she was getting older. She is now seeking damages from the doctor who stopped her from getting surgery for permanent birth control due to which she underwent an unplanned pregnancy.
8 She Nearly Died From An Ectopic Pregnancy
In a reversal of the earlier story, this doctor didn’t see an ectopic pregnancy. A few days after the mother found out that she was pregnant, she experienced bleeding and mild cramping. The doctors performed an ultrasound and found that there was no baby. However, the wall of her uterus was thick indicating that something was going on. According to her last menstrual period, her baby should have been 8 weeks along. The doctors then performed a trans-vaginal scan, but that also failed to locate the baby, which is unusual at 2 months.
The woman’s HCG levels were lower than that of a 2-month pregnancy. The doctor told her that she was miscarrying. Meanwhile, she again suffered from bleeding that same night. The doctor wanted to schedule another ultrasound, which was later cancelled by the patient. Her blood was drawn once again and they found that her HCG levels dropped, so a follow up was scheduled in one week's time. Before the follow up could happen, the mother was rushed to the ER because of pain. When she woke up she was told that her right fallopian tube had ruptured and had to be removed, and the situation was fatal.
7 Misdiagnosed Breech Baby
Evelyn’s mother was overdue by 4 days when she went for her weekly scheduled appointments. The doctor had been telling her that the baby had dropped almost 5 weeks before that appointment. However, the mother had a gut feeling that the baby hadn’t dropped and that she was breech. On that day, the doctor also realized that the baby may be breech and arranged for an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed Evelyn's worries.
Since the mother was overdue, the doctor didn’t want her to go into labor, so a c-section was scheduled right away. They didn’t have time to turn the baby around. After the c-section, the baby was away in the nursery for observation for 2 hours. Later, the doctor told mom that the baby had turned but the umbilical cord had a knot. Had the mother tried for a natural birth, the baby would have died or been stillborn. Fortunately, the baby was saved by the doctor’s misdiagnosis.
6 Unborn Baby Misdiagnosed With Spina Bifida
Gemma, the mother of a perfectly healthy 4-year-old child, wants an apology from the doctors who diagnosed him with Spina Bifida when he was still in the womb. When Gemma went for her scheduled ultrasound at 20 weeks, she was told by her doctors that her baby boy would never be able to walk, talk, or take care of himself. The medical team advised her to get the baby aborted.
However, Gemma’s heart said that the baby was fine and she decided not to follow the advice of her doctor. She went on with her pregnancy and later delivered a perfect baby weighing 5 lbs. 13 oz. via c-section. The baby was taken away for detailed tests for 3 days and the doctors said in the baby’s medical records that he suffered from the severest form of Spina Bifida. However, when the baby turned 15 months he started walking and proved all the doctors wrong.
5 7-Month Old Fetus Aborted
Nguyen was told by her doctors after her ultrasound that the baby had abnormalities and would be born deformed. This happened when the mother was almost 7 months pregnant. The doctors advised the mother to take a second opinion for which she travelled to another city and consulted another doctor. Another ultrasound unfortunately showed the same results and Nguyen was advised to abort the baby.
As advised, Nguyen went ahead with the abortion. However, when the baby was being buried, everyone was shocked to see the baby alive. The baby wasn’t just alive, but he also didn’t have any abnormalities the doctor's warned again. The baby had a normal body weight according to his gestational age. However, it was too late to save the preemie as his body temperature was too low. His skin had become pale and he started showing breathing problems. The mother was devastated to have aborted a perfect baby.
4 Mother Misdiagnosed With Twins
Stacie was happy being pregnant the second time, however at 7 weeks she started bleeding and thought that she might have miscarried. She rushed to the doctor who arranged for an ultrasound. The ultrasound technician told her that she had a blood clot between her uterus and placenta. To her surprise, they told that she was carrying twins, but they didn’t allow her to take a look at the picture of her babies.
Three days later, she got a call from the doctor saying that unfortunately her twins had a rare condition called monoamniotic twin syndrome. The babies shared the same amniotic sac, which put their lives at risk. She was told that the twins had only a 50% chance of survival as there was a risk that the umbilical cord would become compressed, and there was the added risk of strangulation. The parents were devastated. However, things immediately turned around when mom went for a second ultrasound with a new technician. No points for guessing that the technician said the previous reports were wrong and that the mother was carrying 1 healthy baby.
3 Blood Test Goof Up
Missing a period is the first sign of pregnancy for anyone who gets regular periods. However, for this 27-year-old singer, it wasn’t a sign of pregnancy because she meticulously kept track of her cycle. She never had unprotected sex with her husband since they weren't ready to become pregnant. So she searched on the internet and suspected thyroid or Hashimoto disease.
When she went to a gynecologist and her blood was drawn to test the thyroid, the reports came back positive for pregnancy. When her HCG results came back, the doctor told her that she was 8 weeks pregnant or having twins. However, when she took a home pregnancy test it came back negative. The doctor couldn’t locate the baby in a sonogram, so they concluded that she needed laparoscopic surgery for removing her ectopic pregnancy. Fortunately, the doctor wanted to check her HCG levels again, which came back as 0. That’s when the doctor realized that her reports got switched with another lady.
2 Misdiagnosed As Not Pregnant Many Times
Sophiia was 20 when she started gaining weight suddenly. When she went to visit the doctor she was told that it was just stress. Over the next few months, Sophiia noticed many changes in her body that were happening due to pregnancy. But she couldn’t make sense of these signals since she had been taking her birth control pills without fail. She visited the doctor several times, but every time she was told that she was experiencing stress.
When she felt her tummy becoming hard and the baby kicking and moving, she made an emergency appointment, but the doctor didn’t offer any help. The doctor wrote in her records that the stomach was hard but didn’t suggest pregnancy. The whole mystery unfolded for Sophiia and her doctors when she went into labor. She was rushed to the hospital in a state of shock where an ultrasound was performed to see the baby down in the birth canal. One has to wonder about her doctor.
1 Undiagnosed Preeclampsia
Kieran was 34-weeks pregnant when she got a severe headache so bad that she couldn’t even turn her head. By the time she reached the hospital she had a seizure. She had never experienced something like this before in her life. Her blood pressure came out normal and the paramedic diagnosed her with low blood sugar. Kieran was advised to have a bar of chocolate to stabilize her blood sugar.
After a few hours, Kieran had another seizure and she was again rushed to the hospital. The doctors checked her scans and revealed that the baby had died. Kieran was also in danger for her vitals shutting down. When the doctors performed an emergency c-section, the baby was alive and they also managed to save Kieran. Unfortunately she couldn’t see her baby for almost 4 days because she was blinded by preeclampsia. Misdiagnosis of a doctor nearly killed her and she still suffers from the after-effects of her severe condition.