Misdiagnosis leads to $1 million medical malpractice suit

Experiencing a serious illness can bring about a great deal of stress. Often, simply not knowing the cause of pain and discomfort is a frightening prospect. Individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere rely on their chosen health care providers to get to the bottom of such circumstances, and to chart a course of medical treatment that will address the underlying issues. Unfortunately, there are cases in which misdiagnosis can actually worsen pain and suffering.

Such was the case for a woman who sought treatment for abdominal pain. Her physician suggested that she undergo a partial hysterectomy. When that failed to ease her pain, she went through that procedure a second time.

Still suffering, the woman was finally sent in for a CT scan of her abdomen. That test showed evidence of a perforated bowel. Although her earlier symptoms had also pointed to this diagnosis, her physician failed to order the proper testing until the woman was critically ill. By that point, she was also suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome and had lost approximately 20 percent of her available lung capacity.

A medical malpractice lawsuit followed, at the conclusion of which the woman was awarded $700,000. Her husband was given an additional $425,000 for loss of consortium, which is the legal term for the loss of access to a normal marital sexual relationship. Records show that this was not the first medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the doctor who was responsible for her care. The case serves as a warning to individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere of the risk of receiving a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis when seeking treatment of a painful condition.