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Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Study investigates eye tumor misdiagnosis

Optic nerve sheath meningiomas are rare tumors of the optic nerve. While they are generally not cancerous, they can have severe effects that lead to the swelling of the eyes and a loss of vision. However, many Texans with these tumors are misdiagnosed and given incorrect and unnecessary treatment that may carry significant side effects. At the same time, their actual illness goes untreated, which could lead to the tumor growing to the central nervous system or causing blindness.

Several factors were identified in one study that aimed to investigate the failure to diagnose optic nerve sheath meningiomas correctly. Some reasons for misdiagnosis included a failure to correctly interpret the results of tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In other cases, doctors may rely on preexisting beliefs about a diagnosis or inaccurately assess the state of a patient's optic nerve. The study reviewed 35 cases of patients with these tumors who had experienced missed or delayed diagnosis. The patients had an average age of 45, and the average time by which the correct diagnosis was delayed was approximately 62 months or over five years.

The most common cause of misdiagnosis was a doctor's error in assessment; this was found in 76 percent of cases. Testing errors came in second, present in 60 percent of the patients' histories. Some were diagnosed with optic neuritis while others were wrongly told they were healthy. As a result, patients suffered unnecessary steroid treatments, lumbar punctures and laboratory tests.

When doctors fail to diagnose a progressive illness like cancer, the consequences can be profound for the patient. A medical malpractice lawyer can consult with a patient who has suffered a worsened health condition due to a doctor error about the possibility to seek compensation.

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