Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Blastomycosis and unnecessary lobectomy?

Posted In: Medical Errors 6 Replies
  • Posted By: wisconsin
  • May 2, 2007
  • 07:41 PM

Here is my story. I hope someone can help and answer some of the questions that I post here.
After experiencing what I thought was a bad cold for over 4 weeks, I had a chest x-ray. This showed an "area of concern", and I had a CT scan of the chest 2 days later. I was then told I should see a pulmonologist, but the same day the Dr. office called again and told me to see a Thoracic surgeon (there is only one in this small city). The phone nurse told me that I would be having a broncoscopsy. I looked this up and understood it to be a method to get a bioposy of what what in my lung.

I went to the Thoracic Dr a few days later. He informed me that I had a golf-ball-sized tumor and that it needed to come out. He said there was a 50% chance of malignancy. The broncoscopy wasn't necessry, because malignant or not, this tumor should come out and it should be soon. He said that, when he opened me up, he would examine a piece of the tumor by putting it under the microscope. He would cut out the tumor if it was NOT malignant, and would do a complete lobectomy if it was malignant. After surgery he said that he had to take the whole lobe because the tumor was up higher than he first thought....near where the 2 lobes meet. He did not examine it under a microscope. He said he was 95% sure it was primary lung cancer.

Several days later he came in and said that the pathology came back "Cryptococcus Neoformans", which is a fungus. 2 weeks after the surgery he told me that the diagnosis was now Blastomycosis, which is a fungal infection different that Crypto. I obtained the pathology report, which was dated 3 days after the surgery, and it said Blastomycosis. So, I had been given the incorrect anti fungal for 2 weeks. I do not know where the Dr. got the incorrece Crypto diagnosis because it is NOT in the pathology report.

My main concern is this: did I lose the lobe of my lung unnecessarily? They could have, and should have, done a test or several tests, to determine if this was indeed cancer. Blastomycosis is treated with medication. Does anyone know of any other such cases? I am feeling that I should have a medical malpractice suit. Now I have to undergo the Blastomycosis treatment anyway (6 months of drug therapy), and I have lost one lobe of my lung.

Do I have a case here?

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6 Replies:

  • I have also experienced something I consider frustrating. Since the end of March I have been sick. It started with a painful back which i thought I hurt moving a sofa. So I iced and heated it for a week. The following week I began to have a sore throat and stuffy nose. By the end of the week I had a cold. The next week my cold turned into a cough. The following week my cough became wheexing and shortness of breath at which time I went to the emergecny and was diagnosed with pneamonia. I was put on a drug for ten days. i finsihed them on a Friday and had another e-ray. the doctor told me my chest was not completely clear but clearing and that because of the drug I was on a dose he would not put me on anything else and two come back for an x-ray in two weeks. The first week i was feeling really goode. Cough was going and no cold but by the friday I was aching and had a sore throat. By the weekend I had a cold. By the next week my cough was comjing back and when I went on friday the doct who saw me then said that there was no change in the chest x-ray and that it was time to consder blasto and he wanted to put me on meds right away. Back at the beginning when I first was diagnosed iwth pneamonia I did a blasto test and this doc on friday said that the intital tests at hospital showed no blasto but that it takes weeks for the final tests. I have to do anotehr sputom test (which is hard because now I cannot seem to cough anything up) and start meds. I am fristated because the test takes so long and non one can tell me for sure if I have blasto. No to mention I have no drug plan and had to fiork out $536.00 for meds and if I have blasto I'll have at least 6 months. I also have no sick days in my job as I am in a Long term occasional position for someone who has not worked in two years. So the 8 days I was sick I had no pay. I have scared. I am frustrated. I want answers that don't have to take so long. it that to much to offer.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • For the person who replied to my post (re: blastomycosis): Your story is frustrating. However, your doctor at least has some knowledge about blastomycosis. Have they determined that it definately IS blasto? If so, you must have the medication. Try to get it from Canada if you have to due to $. Can you tell me how long it took to diagnose blastomycosis from a sputum test? Also, Is a needle biopsy possible for you? Or otherwise a bronchoscopy? Let me know how you are doing.
    wisconsin 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • They have not yet officially diagnosed it. I did one sputum test a while back but it takes time for the coltur to grow and I am to do another one but having a difficult time coughing the stuff up. I see my own doctor for the first time tomorrow so I'll see what she says. I have started meds already. Am extremely tired and having to work makes it ten times worse but I don't have any type of sick days. I live in Canada and my meds cost for 121 pills that will last a month $536.00 (I have no prescription/medical plan) so nothign is covered.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I also am from Wisconsin, and I had blastomycosis myself. It took about 3 days I believe for the test to come back for the Blasto, and I also was misdiagnosed for months , they kept saying I had pneumonia, and had me on drugs for it for a month. My lung finally collapsed and then they decided their must be more going on ... ... . So.. to make a long story short, they had to go down my lung with a tube because I couldn't spit stuff out for the blasto test, and then 3 days later they confirmed the case. Wisconsin is bad for blasto, especially in the area I lived at the time. I was on the medicine for about 2 years! I basically went broke paying for my meds. I am not sure if they needed to remove your piece of lung, I do know that if it was full of Blasto, it probably could have been taken care of with the medicine if it hadn't gone too far. I guess that's my story..lol
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I want to ask how long does it take for blastomycosis to cure, my mother has it and she is using the medicine named Sporanox (Itraconazole) for last 2 years although it has reduced significantly ,i would appreciate if any body could let me know how long will it take to get rid of it.Thank you
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I want to ask how long does it take for blastomycosis to cure, my mother has it and she is using the medicine named Sporanox (Itraconazole) for last 2 years although it has reduced significantly ,i would appreciate if any body could let me know how long will it take to get rid of it.Thank youI can tell you Im an expert with blastomycosis in dogs, we have had 2 dogs die from this horrible disease. Both got it a second time. The vet told us we live in the fungus and is nothing we can do about it and if we (humans) get sick to go in right away and get tested and treated. If you do not take the medicine for this you and the animals will die. And may anyway. We also had a gentelmen die the same time our dog died, because they did not know about the disease. And kept telling him he had other things wrong. You should as a human only have to be treated for 7 to 14 days if you are young and healthy, maybe your mom is older and has a weak immune system, in that case they may keep her on a low dose. This is a horrible horrible disease and the sad part is nothing you can do to get rid of it outside... Thank you and good luck BJ
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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