An Indiana jury has awarded $5 million to a woman in a medical malpractice case that was caused by a misdiagnosis. The woman, then 18, arrived at the emergency room with a ruptured diaphragm after playing softball. But through several miscommunications about what was shown by x-rays, she was misdiagnosed with a urinary tract infection and muscle strain, and then sent home.
Her condition deteriorated, so she saw doctors several times over more than two weeks. Eventually, emergency surgery revealed the correct diagnosis and resulted in the removal of a third of her stomach. Even today, she must limit food intake to avoid vomiting. She has had six surgeries and expects further complications. The woman can no longer work due to fatigue from the malpractice. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.
I have successfully handled many medical malpractice cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving the failure to properly read, report and/or interpret a radiology film. These cases are tragic b/c the answer to the problem is right before the doctor’s eyes, but it doesn’t get properly reported.
In one case, a radiologist was found by a jury to be negligent for failing to properly read and interpret a prenatal sonogram. That case resulted in a verdict of $7.6 million verdict. In another case, a radiologis failed to report that a CAT (CT) scan of the abdomen showed appendicitis, resutling in the appendix rupturing, which caused the client’s death.