Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Missed diagnosis results in paralysis

However common it may be, a doctor's failure to diagnose a condition can lead to injury or even death. A jury recently delivered a $3.9 million verdict against a doctor. This came about after a doctor sent a woman home that was suffering from severe migraine headaches and extremely high blood pressure.

What the woman was instead suffering from was bleeding of the brain that could have been identified by a CT scan. Since her brain injury wasn't timely treated, the right side of her body is now paralyzed.

Such happenings have occurred in Pennsylvania as well. Too often doctors do not listen to their patients or quickly dismissed the symptoms that are presented.

Everyone - including the doctor that purportedly made this mistake - seemed surprised that the hospital's insurer chose not to settle this matter and instead went to trial. The woman's attorney was quoted as saying: "There was not really any legitimate question about who was at fault. It was a case that should have been settled long before trial."

No one should underestimate the trauma that can be caused by a medical mistake or misdiagnosis. The woman injured because of the misdiagnosis was only 34-years old.

She will now require medical care and services for everyday tasks for the remainder of her life. She will likely be limited in the type of profession that she chooses. And she will no longer be able to enjoy life in the same manner as a typical healthy 34 year old woman.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Largest Jury Verdict Awarded in Fort Collins, Colo., History," April 19, 2012

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