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Study shows how MS is often misdiagnosed

| Feb 21, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

A recently published study has found that the misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis is not uncommon at two MS-specializing centers. Patients across Ohio will want to know what the researchers found since the trend that was revealed could affect them, too. The study was conducted by a clinical team at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and the two centers in question were at Cedars-Sinai and at UCLA.

In all, 364 patients were evaluated, and 241 were referred for treatment. This was between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. Nineteen of those patients at Cedars-Sinai and 24 at UCLA were found to have been incorrectly diagnosed with MS. In all, about one in five patients were misdiagnosed with the condition.

A major factor in this trend is over-reliance on radiographic findings, and their misinterpretation, whenever patients display symptoms that fall outside MS diagnostic criteria. For example, 74 percent of all the Cedars-Sinai patients and 67 percent of the UCLA group suffered from headaches and other symptoms uncharacteristic of MS.

Of the misdiagnosed patients, 72 percent were prescribed disease-modifying MS treatments. Another 48 percent were also prescribed a certain procedure known to increase the risk for a serious viral brain infection. To date, there is no single test to identify MS, and MS-mimicking conditions are numerous.

Unnecessary MS disease-modifying treatments cost the U.S. health care industry an estimated $10 million. Patients who have been misdiagnosed and burdened with these costs may be able to file a malpractice claim. A valid claim should prove that medical negligence was behind the misdiagnosis. This means the doctor must be shown to have neglected generally accepted medical practices. A lawyer may be helpful in filing the claim and gathering proof. A victim could leave all negotiations for a settlement to their lawyer.

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