A doctor is someone who patients depend upon for their care and well-being. When a doctor's negligence results in the failure to diagnose a medical condition, or a misdiagnosis of the problem, the patient can be left feeling cheated, without a solution for their ailment. Sometimes this failure can lead to even more severe medical conditions.
This is what happened to a woman who was suffering with abdominal pain. After being examined by her doctor, he failed to diagnose a problem and failed to order follow-up tests. However, she remained in pain and was sent home, still in considerable pain.
Suspecting that the doctor was simply not delivering an adequate standard of care by not doing more to reach a clear diagnosis, she decided to seek a second opinion. In fact, upon receiving a more thorough examination by a second doctor, she was diagnosed with appendicitis and was scheduled for immediate surgery.
Unfortunately, the delay caused by the first doctor's failure to diagnose caused her to deal with an unnecessary level of pain, but more seriously, further medical complications. While awaiting the surgery, the woman's appendix ruptured, requiring a more extensive surgery than is ordinarily needed. In this case, it was not possible to repair all of the damage from the rupture, and a large part of her bowel had to be removed in addition to her appendix.
Since that time, she has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the first doctor, claiming that his negligence led to her suffering increased pain and the partial loss of important bodily functions. She is seeking not only monetary compensation for these injuries, but also for her lost wages and medical expenses she incurred unnecessarily.
By bringing this lawsuit she is also hoping to hold the doctor accountable for failing in his duty to his patient, and to send the message to other doctors around the country and in Massachusetts about the repercussions that can follow a failure to diagnose a serious medical problem due to doctor negligence.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Doc accused of failing to catch appendicitis seeks to limit damages," David Yates, May 11, 2012