Patients who are in pain often seek medical care and treatment at a hospital. Doctors who exam such patients have a legal and moral obligation to ensure measures are taken to promptly and accurately diagnose possible medical conditions and problems. Even patients with seemingly minor medical problems, may have more serious underlying conditions and failure to properly diagnose such conditions can result in a patient suffering injury and even death.
A woman whose son died recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who she claims failed to diagnose his medical condition. According to the lawsuit, the woman's son visited the hospital's emergency room around 9:30 a.m., complaining of an extremely sore throat. At this time, the son was seen by a doctor who examined and discharged him.
By 3:30 p.m. the son returned to the emergency room stating his throat was now so swollen that he could barely swallow. At this time, the doctor ordered that an x-ray of the patient's throat be administered. Test results showed that the patient was suffering from extreme swelling of the throat.
At around 5:30 p.m., fearing the patient's throat would swell shut and cut off his air supply, medical staff attempted to perform a procedure in which an incision is made in a patient's throat. Their attempts, however, proved unsuccessful.
Less than an hour later, around 6:25 p.m., the patient died. An autopsy reveled the patient suffered from extreme swelling of the larynx which cut off his air supply. The patient's mother recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in which she accuses the doctor who initially saw her son of failing to diagnose his condition.
The woman asserts that the doctor's negligent, reckless and careless actions directly contributed to her son's more serious medical condition and subsequent death. She is seeking to recover both punitive and compensatory damages.
Source: The West Virginia Record, "Woman says Charleston physician cuased son's death," Kyla Asbury, June 28, 2013