So far, the answers provided have had nothing to do with whether or not a medical malpractice claim is viable.
The required element of damages that would not have otherwise occurred is not met. The woman most likely had a rupturing appendix when she went to the ER. Not diagnosing it the first time did not result in outcome.
We know absolutely nothing about the hospital or the physicians or what tests were or were not done. We do "know" that surgery was delayed for three days because the woman was pregnant.
Whether or not delaying the surgery caused more damages than would have occurred remains to be answered. A ruptured appendix is life-threatening and with or without surgery done as soon as the rupture is diagnosed or even if a "hot" appendix ruptures during surgery to remove it, the patient often suffers the same complications as the original poster described.
As for an ectopic pregnancy, initially, it is difficult to differentiate from appendicitis. If it had been a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, it is highly doubtful the patient would be alive to post on this forum.
An ovarian cyst can present exactly like a hot appendix and exactly like an ectopic pregnancy. So can a bowel obstruction.
Let's don't forget labwork and vital signs, either. A hot appendix may or may not show on labwork and vital signs; a ruptured appendix will. An ectopic pregnancy won't show on labwork and vital signs; a ruptured ectopic pregnancy will. An ovarian cysts won't present on labwork and vital signs; a ruptured ovarian cysts with a significant bleed will. A bowel obstruction will not initially show on labwork or vital signs, either.
Instead of creating scenarios for the original poster, I believe it is important for her to know that it will be most difficult to prove her claim, that it will cost about $20,000 to get to the point of deciding whether or not to file suit because the records have to be reviewed by three different medical experts (ED physician, GYN physician, and general surgeon). An attorney may or may not be willing to take the case on a contingency basis; and if not, the poster will have to pay up front. Even if it is a viable claim of medmal and significant damages did result from the act(s) of malpractice, the whole process will take about five years--five years of stress, and will yield very little money to the plaintiff. It will not be a six-figure award.
My advice to the OP is to ignore the would-be trouble-making forum troll named dedlock and the supposed medical student who didn't know about x-rays with and without contrast, other than to heed their advice to run this by a medmal attorney.
An attorney outside the county where the original hospital is located would likely be the most interested in reviewing the claim. Call for a free consult but do not get your hopes up for anything.
A word to the wise should be sufficient.
Last edited by ellencee; 05-29-2007 at 08:50 PM.
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