An accurate diagnosis is often the first step to administering the proper treatment to New Jersey patients. When the period of time between the onset of an illness or injury and the beginning of treatment is extended by a healthcare provider's failure to diagnose, serious and even permanent injury can occur. Unfortunately, an out-of-state teenager may be all too familiar with this.
The boy was knocked unconscious while playing in a football game for his high school, and he suffered both leg and head injuries. After being taken to the hospital, his initial diagnosis was a hip contusion and a concussion. The doctors claimed that his decreased ability to move his leg was simply a symptom of the contusion, and he was sent home with a pair of crutches and some medication for pain.
His pain worsened despite the medication, particularly in his abdomen and testicle. Upon returning to the doctor, he reported those complains, along with nausea. He was told that he also had a testicle contusion. It wasn't until a third visit to the hospital that doctors discovered that a vein had been twisted and was cutting off blood flow to the teen's testicle. After three days of a missed diagnosis, there was no hope that proper functioning could be restored.
Three days may not seem like much to most people, but that's all it takes for an injury to become irreversible with some illnesses. Damages for this athlete's injury haven't been specified, but his medical malpractice claim cites pain and suffering, disfigurement and compensation for related medical bills. New Jersey patients who have similarly suffered from a failure to diagnose have the same option to pursue compensation after a missed diagnosis causes further injury or illness.
Source: louisianarecord.com, "Football player sent to hospital with concussion, leg contusion sues for medical malpractice after improper diagnosis", Kyle Barnett, Nov. 4, 2014