Spinal Fracture Misdiagnosis
This is a failure to diagnose a cervical spine fracture medical malpractice case filed in Elkton, Maryland. The claim was brought on February 5, 2016. This is the 56th medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Maryland in 2016. The case number is 07-C-16-000293Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations
An 86-year-old woman is involved in a motor vehicle collision. After the accident, Emergency Medical Services' personnel finds the woman to be alert and oriented. However, she complains of neck and shoulder pain. The woman is then taken to the Union Hospital of Cecil County for treatment.
The woman is suffering from neck, back, shoulder, and chest pain when she arrives at Union Hospital. A CT scan of her cervical spine interpreted by the Defendant doctor shows no acute bony injury to the spine and the degenerative disease is stable. However, this interpretation is later found to be incorrect. The doctor fails to diagnose a cervical spine fracture the woman sustained from the accident.
The day following the accident, the woman returns to Union Hospital via ambulance complaining of severe left-side neck pain, upper back, and shoulder pain. When she arrives, she enters the care of a different Defendant doctor. Her pain level is noted as a 10/10. After she is given a Fentanyl patch, Dilaudid injection, and Motrin, her pain level decreases and she is able to walk using a walker. The woman is discharged and is told to follow-up with her primary physician within the next two days.
The woman makes an appointment to see a third Defendant doctor for her follow-up examination. However, before her scheduled appointment, she is again taken to Union Hospital by ambulance.
After the accident, the woman was seen by multiple doctors and nurses who all relied on the misinterpretation of the CT scan. This misinterpretation led her to receive inadequate care and treatment for her cervical spine fracture, causing her to later suffer from spinal cord compression. To date, she is unable to stand or walk. She is and will continue to be unable to feed or care for herself or engage in numerous regular life activities.
The woman files a medical malpractice lawsuit in Cecil County against Union Hospital and the doctors who cared for her there. She alleges that if her spine fracture had been timely and appropriately recognized and treated by the Defendants, she would have avoided the spinal cord compression, paralysis, and permanent injuries which she later sustained.Additional Comments
- Plaintiff's lawyers have already engaged five experts. You can assume that there are significant future medical expenses in this case because it is hard to justify five experts if the case was limited to the cap ($755,000) as most cases involving someone of advanced age as the Plaintiff is in this case usually are. If she truly has paralysis, it will lead to significant future costs.
- The biggest weakness in the case is the age of the Plaintiff. Statistically, 87 year-olds do not live much long. But this can be a weapon for plaintiffs' lawyers, too. It is easy to argue that a woman who had such a great life should not have to have it end because of someone else's mistake.
- The battle in this case is going to be over causation. Would it have made a difference if the diagnosis was made on time? If you read the Plaintiff's experts' reports, a pretty strong case is made that the delay is what really caused the bulk of her injuries.
- Kamaldeep Momi, M.D. - Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery
- Julia Aucoin, DNS, RN-BC, CNE - Registered Nurse
- Matthew Parker, M.D. - Board Certified in internal medicine
- Howard Snyder, M.D. - Board Certified in emergency medicine
- Joel B. Bowers, M.D. - Board Certified in diagnostic radiology
- Failed to properly and accurately interpret CT scan
- Failed to recognize, diagnose, report an acute fracture of the spine
- Failed to timely and properly treat injuries
- Failed to timely refer to an appropriate medical specialist and medical center testing and/or treatment
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