Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis

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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Jody Blatchley, a 32-year-old snowboarding coach, fractured his left tibia and right calcaneus in a snowboarding mishap. He underwent two surgeries over the next few days including a left tibial plateau repair surgery performed by Dr. Richard Cunningham.

After a second surgery, it was noted that Blatchley had pain, decreased sensation in his left leg, and an inability to move his left toes. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter James evaluated Blatchley and prescribed pain medication.

Over the next few days, Blatchley’s pain increased, he developed swelling and remained unable to wiggle his toes. He underwent an ultrasound and was later found to have increased pressure in the compartments of his lower left extremity. This led to an emergency fasciotomy, debridement and skin graft procedures, and placement of a wound VAC six days after the injury. Blatchley now suffers from left foot drop and lower leg pain. His medical expenses totaled $418,000, and he lost income of $190,000.
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The plaintiff Mary Sikora was the independent administrator of the estate of Chris Allan Sikora, deceased. Sikora brought a lawsuit against the defendant, Nirali R. Parikh, M.D., and ManorCare of Elk Grove Village Ill., LLC d/b/a ManorCare of Elk Grove Village, in the death of her husband from a pulmonary embolism. The case went to a jury trial; the jury returned a verdict in favor of both defendants.

Sikora moved for a new trial based in part on Dr. Parikh’s attorney’s closing argument. Dr. Parikh’s attorney asked the jury to place itself in Dr. Parikh’s shoes. The attorney allegedly violated a pretrial in limine order, which barred any mention of Sikora’s initial refusal to be transferred to the hospital on the day he died.

The trial court agreed that Dr. Parikh’s attorney had made improper remarks during closing argument and found the cumulative effect of those errors sufficiently prejudicial to warrant a new trial.
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Mr. Doe, 54, sought treatment for his hypertension from Dr. Roe, his primary care physician. Urinalysis showed two to three red blood cells in Mr. Doe’s urine. However, Mr. Doe was not advised of this condition.

At his annual physical about two weeks later, a screening urine test was normal. Approximately two years later, a different family practice physician referred Mr. Doe to a urologist after a urine test showed blood and red blood cells in Mr. Doe’s urine. This led to a diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Mr. Doe died of his kidney cancer disease within three years. He was survived by his two adult children.
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Kara Nguyen experienced pain after undergoing a splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen. She was 23 years old at the time. Her surgeon, Dr. Jorge Leiva, ordered a CT scan. Dr. Andre Arash Lighvani, a radiologist, interpreted the scan as normal.

She was discharged from the hospital and followed up with Dr. Leiva. About a week later, she was readmitted to the hospital suffering from fever and abdominal pain.

After a second CT scan was completed, Dr. Leiva and another general surgeon, Dr. Ziad Amr, diagnosed a blood clot in her portal vein, which was allegedly apparent on both CT scans. Dr. Amr discharged her five days later without a treatment plan for the vein clot.
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Robert Suryadeth, 64, suffered from valvular heart disease. Before he underwent an outpatient surgery for his back issues, he met with Dr. Aruna Paspula, an internist, who had never seen him before that day.

Dr. Paspula performed an electrocardiogram, listened to his heart, and cleared him for the back surgery.

After the surgery, Suryadeth was discharged to home where he died later that day. An autopsy revealed three blocked coronary arteries and identified the cause of death as cardiac arrest. He was survived by his wife and three children.
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The State Supreme Court of Rhode Island has held that a trial judge improperly ordered a new trial based on the judge’s conclusion that a jury had misjudged the credibility of a witness. In this case, Stacia Aptt filed a lawsuit against Dr. Michael Baaklini alleging that the doctor had misdiagnosed her symptoms. He diagnosed her with a fatal kidney condition; she stated that this diagnosis caused her to suffer severe emotional distress.

At trial, the jury found in favor of the doctor. Aptt moved for a new trial. The trial judge, finding that the jury had come to the incorrect conclusion based on Aptt’s hyperemotional state while testifying at trial, ordered the defendant to agree to additur (added damages) or face a new trial on damages. The defendant appealed.

The State Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case noting that it is the fact finder’s duty to decide whether trial testimony is credible.
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Nicole Incrocci was just 15 when she was bitten by a poisonous snake on her lower left leg. Her leg continued to swell over the next month. When she developed right flank pain, coughing and vomiting, she went to a hospital emergency room where a doctor diagnosed pneumonia, prescribed an antibiotic and discharged her to home.

Nicole’s condition worsened despite the administration of multiple antibiotics. She was later hospitalized. A family physician, Dr. Monique Casey-Bolden, who was aware of the pneumonia diagnosis, Nicole’s chest pain and her history of coughing up blood, diagnosed worsening pneumonia and prescribed different antibiotics.

Nicole’s condition continued to worsen. She developed rapid heart and respiratory rates for which Dr. Casey-Bolden ordered oxygen, albuterol treatments, Tylenol, and an EKG and chest-x-ray.
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In the confidential reporting of this case, Mr. Doe, 58, developed shortness of breath. He was admitted to a local hospital where he underwent various tests to rule out pulmonary embolism.

The hospital staff interpreted a pulmonary angiogram suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, an embolism. Mr. Doe was prescribed Coumadin and injectable Lovenox. He was then discharged from the hospital.

The following day, Mr. Doe returned to the emergency room complaining of severe abdominal pain. A CT scan and ultrasound showed a rectus sheath hematoma with internal bleeding. A rectus sheath hematoma is described as an accumulation of blood in the outer lining or sheath of the rectus abdominis muscle. The condition causes abdominal pain with or without a mass. The collection of blood or the hematoma may be caused by either rupture of the epigastric artery or by a muscular tear.
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Kevin Clanton, 28, underwent a pre-employment screening and was told that he had high blood pressure. He went to a federally financed public healthcare facility where he met with nurse practitioner Denise Jordan. She noted that he had severe hypertension with blood pressure readings of 210/170. Jordan ordered lab work and diagnosed high cholesterol and obesity in addition to hypertension. She gave Clanton medication samples and told him to follow up with her the next week so that he could receive his work clearance.

Clanton did not follow up with Jordan as instructed. About two years later, his employer told him that he needed medical care due to his high blood pressure. For the next year, Clanton consulted again with Jordan who attempted to lower his blood pressure with various medications and address his symptoms such as blurred vision.

Clanton often took extended absences from his treatment and stopped consulting with Jordan for 15 months before resuming treatment with her. Lab tests taken at his latest visit showed that he had Stage IV chronic kidney disease. Clanton was not advised of this condition.
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