Man claims failure to diagnose knee dislocation led to amputation

Medical professionals operating in Philadelphia and throughout the rest of the country are expected to follow an established standard of care when it comes to treating their patients. Once a potential diagnosis has been identified, it’s expected that the doctor or other clinician involved perform any and all tests required under that standard of care in order to accurately diagnose the problem. A failure to meet this standard could endanger a patient’s well-being and open up the care provider to accusations of negligence.

Such an allegation was recently leveled against both a PA and a doctor working in a Maryland emergency room who failed to recognize and treat a patient’s knee dislocation. A man had come in complaining of knee pain after getting his knee caught in a loading dock gate. Despite the PA later admitting that a dislocation was suspected, neither she the attending doctor ordered diagnostic tests to confirm that diagnosis. Instead, the man was told he had simple knee pain and was sent home. In reality, his tendons as well as his popliteal artery had been torn, preventing blood from getting to his lower leg. Doctors who testified at the subsequent medical malpractice trial said that tests done to confirm a knee dislocation would have shown this damage. Instead, the delay in treatment caused the man to lose his lower leg.

The compensation earned from a medical malpractice lawsuit may not be able to reverse the damage done as a result of a provider’s negligence, but it can help one to deal with medical expenses as well as to assuage his or her pain and suffering. Those looking to initiate legal action against a negligent doctor may wish to work with an attorney in doing so.

Source: Busbyway “$5.2 Million Verdict in Baltimore City Emergency Room Error Medical Malpractice Case” June 10, 2014



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