Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis

Rickie Lee Hewitt consulted a urologist at The Iowa Clinic after receiving his prostate cancer screening results. He was 65 years old at the time. The urologist ordered a biopsy, which was sent to the clinic’s anatomical laboratory for interpretation.

Pathologist Dr. Joy Trueblood, the laboratory’s director, examined Hewitt’s slides and reported that she had found cancer in both sides of his prostate.

Hewitt then met with the urologist, who told him that he required a radical prostatectomy in order to survive his cancer. The surgery left Hewitt with erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
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Melina Greer, 25, went to a hospital emergency room complaining of a severe headache, neck pain and decreased and blurred vision. She received a neurological consultation from neurology resident, Dr. Basad Essa, who noted that she was having difficulty performing an optic fundus examination.

An emergency physician later discharged Greer with a diagnosis of a complex migraine.
Two days later, she returned to the hospital with complete vision loss. A lumbar puncture led to a diagnosis of idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Greer sued neurologist Dr. Ruggero Serafini, whom she claimed had consulted on her case during the first hospital visit, alleging he chose not to timely diagnose intracranial hypertension. It was alleged had she undergone a simple fundus examination and lumbar puncture, Greer asserted she could have been timely treated with acetazolamide and an LP (lumbar peritoneal) shunt and avoided additional vision loss.
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After a fall, John Mitchell, 53, went to a Kaiser Permanente occupational medicine specialist complaining of back pain, numbness and weakness. The doctor prescribed steroids and a muscle relaxer and asked Mitchell to return in one week.

At the next appointment, Mitchell reported increased numbness and weakness in his legs. The doctor referred Mitchell to a Kaiser Permanente emergency room for an MRI of his lumbar spine. The MRI showed mild degenerative changes. Mitchell was referred to a neurologist.

Before the neurology appointment, he met with a Kaiser specialist who ordered a STAT MRI of the thoracic spine. The first available appointment was four days later.
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Edward Dallies, 51, was admitted to a hospital suffering from a swollen left arm and back pain. A family physician, Dr. Lawrence Rahall, prescribed intravenous antibiotics.

A bone scan showed Dallies had a compression fracture of the spine. However, he did not undergo an MRI because he did not fit into the hospital’s MRI machine. Five days later, Dr. Rahall stopped the antibiotics. Dallies was discharged three days later.

Dallies’ neurological condition worsened. He became unable to move his legs. Dallies was later diagnosed as having an epidural abscess, which necessitated surgery. As a consequence of his injuries, he now suffers from paralysis and neurological deficits, including a neurogenic bowel and bladder. He is unable to continue working as a laborer earning approximately $25,000 per year.

Dallies filed a lawsuit against Dr. Rahall and one of his treating orthopedists alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the epidural abscess and start appropriate antibiotic therapy. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants chose not to stabilize the compression fracture.
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Madaline Pitkin, 26, was booked into the Washington County jail after being arrested for unlawful possession of heroin. For the next week, Pitkin, while alone in her jail cell, suffered from opioid withdrawal resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and limited eating and drinking.

The jail staff came to her cell but did not respond to her four requests for medical care. She was not transferred to a hospital as she requested. Pitkin later died of a cardiac event in her jail cell. She is survived by her parent and sibling.

Pitkin’s estate filed a lawsuit against Corizon Health Inc., the county, and several healthcare staff members, claiming they chose not to diagnose and treat dehydration. The Pitkin family argued that she required transfer to a hospital and intravenous saline treatment in light of her symptoms.
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Sharon Wiser, 62, had a history of migraine headaches. She experienced right-sided headaches over a two-week period. She went to Essentia Health Duluth Clinic, where she reported her headache history and told the clinic staff that she was suffering from blurred vision.

Wiser was discharged from the clinic with a diagnosis of a migraine headache and was given a prescription for Toradol. The next day, she consulted a family physician who advised her to follow up if her symptoms did not improve.

One week later, she returned to Duluth Clinic, where internist Dr. Alan Peterson ordered a CT scan of her head. The next night, however, she went to an emergency room, complaining of a significant headache.
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Ms. Doe, age 43, was hospitalized and treated for sepsis after she underwent laparoscopic surgery. Shortly after her release from the hospital, Ms. Doe experienced severe shortness of breath, tachycardia and lower back pain.

Ms. Doe met twice with Dr. Roe, an infectious disease specialist, who ordered a chest X-ray, which he deemed to be reassuring.

The same week, Ms. Doe suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. She had been an office manager earning approximately $62,000 per year and is survived by her husband and a minor son.
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Faith DeGrand was just 10 when she was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis. To try to prevent the condition from worsening, Faith underwent surgery by a pediatric orthopedist, Dr. Eric Jones. In this surgery, Dr. Jones inserted hardware in Faith’s thoracic spine.

After this surgery, Faith experienced incontinence, numbness in her hands and fingers, and weakness in both legs. Dr. Jones examined Faith, but found nothing wrong. Another doctor took over Faith’s care after Dr. Jones went on vacation.

Faith’s condition worsened. Dr. Jones then performed another surgery to loosen the hardware he had placed in Faith’s thoracic spine during the first surgery. Despite this effort, Faith’s symptoms worsened. Dr. Jones then went on another vacation. The other doctor, taking over Faith’s medical care, ordered an MRI. Faith underwent yet another surgery, this time to remove the hardware, which had led to decreased blood flow to and indirect compression of her cervical spine.
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Ms. Doe, 47 years old, suffered from multiple sclerosis and used a walker. After visiting an urgent care clinic, she became tired and tried to sit down on her walker. The walker flipped over and Ms. Doe hit her head on the pavement. A physician’s assistant at the clinic palpated the injury and stitched Ms. Doe’s wound before discharging her with verbal instructions.

Ms. Doe fell into a coma approximately five hours later. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital where testing revealed a skull fracture and intracranial hemorrhage with midline shift. Despite undergoing neurosurgery, Ms. Doe now suffers from severe cognitive issues and requires 24-hour-per-day care.

Ms. Doe sued the urgent care clinic, alleging that it chose not to transfer her to a hospital emergency room after the fall in light of her neurological symptoms, including one-sided weakness. The lawsuit also alleged that the urgent care clinic should have sent Ms. Doe home with written, not verbal instructions.
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Samuel Gray was 61 when he reported excruciating pain and cramping in his left lower leg. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital emergency room where it was noted that he had diminished foot pulses and was in severe pain. He was later diagnosed as having acute ischemia of the lower leg and was given Heparin, a blood thinner.

The hospital staff contacted a thoracic surgeon, Dr. Panagiotis Iakovidis, who agreed to treat Gray and ordered a CT angiogram. The CT angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of acute ischemia in the lower leg.

However, Dr. Iakovidis did not see Gray personally until the next day, 22 hours after the hospital staff had requested his services. Despite an attempt to restore blood flow, Gray subsequently required below-the-knee amputation of his left leg.
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