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Many patients with optic nerve tumors get misdiagnosed

For patients in Oklahoma with optic nerve sheath meningiomas, it can be difficult to obtain an appropriate diagnosis. These tumors of the optic nerves are non-cancerous and considered benign, but they can grow rapidly and have severe effects on a patient's quality of life. In many cases, people with these kinds of tumors get diagnosed with another illness or no illness at all. As a result, they received inaccurate and unnecessary treatments, some of which come with serious side effects.

The study, conducted at the Emory School of Medicine, reviewed the cases of 35 patients with optic nerve sheath meningioma whose physicians had failed to diagnose their tumors. Patients were an average of 45 years old, and 71 percent of them had their diagnoses delayed by an average of over 62 months (more than five years). While doctors had biased ideas about preexisting illnesses in some cases, other physicians misread laboratory test results. In addition, some patients never received correct tests that could allow their tumors to be properly diagnosed.

In 76 percent of cases, the medical error was made by a physician who failed to diagnose the patient correctly. In 60 percent of cases, diagnostic testing errors played a major role. Over half of the misdiagnosed patients had received MRIs that were performed incorrectly. As a result, the patients received unneeded steroid treatments, lumbar punctures and further laboratory tests, sometimes causing further health problems.

Failure to diagnose cancer and other progressive diseases may lead to serious consequences and cost years of a patient's life. Someone who has suffered a worsened medical condition due to a physician error can consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the potential to seek compensation for damages.

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