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Disabled man misdiagnosed twice


When a Pittsburgh resident has to go to the emergency room, they assume that they will receive prompt and accurate care. When a person has a medical emergency, they need immediate and accurate care. Most of the time emergency room doctors can accurately diagnose a condition but when there is a failure to diagnose a worsened condition can occur.

A severely disabled man presented himself to the emergency room on two separate occasions and continued to receive the wrong diagnosis. The man, who can't speak because of his disabilities, went to his local emergency room twice because he couldn't sit up or do anything. The first time the emergency room staff x-rayed the man's chest and shoulder and found no fracture so they sent him home. The second time, the emergency room again performed another set of shoulder and chest x-rays and found nothing. A week later, his mother brought him back for a third time because he was in severe pain. He remained under observation for 3 days and was about to be sent home with no diagnosis until an x-ray technician was reviewing the third set of x-rays and realized he had a broken neck. The technician called the doctor with his discovery. Because the man wasn't diagnosed in a timely manner he suffered with a broken neck for 15 days.

Disabled people can face additional challenges with their medical care when they are not able to communicate what is wrong with them. But regardless of a person's mental capacity, it is important for medical professionals to treat all patients with accuracy and respect. If a person believes their loved one was not cared for properly, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical records, consult with medical experts and determine what happened to cause the unexpected injury. They can hold the negligent physician accountable and compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

When a patient suffers from delayed treatment because of a medical misdiagnosis a serious injury can occur. It is important to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence so that they don't harm anyone else.

Source: myfoxboston.com, "Family demanding change after disabled man misdiagnosed twice," Kathryn Burcham, Nov. 7, 2015

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