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Thread: misdiagnosis???

  1. #1
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    misdiagnosis???

    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    In September of 2006 I went to the hospital emergency room with severe abdominal pain. They sen me home after some blood work and told me I had kidney stones and that I was pregnant and that was what was causing the pain. My husband then took me back to same hospital because the pain was more intense and I was in and out of consiousness. They took more blood work of course and then admitted me to find root of problem. the hospital doctors would not do an xray because of pregnancy nor did they do an ultrasound. I stayed in hospital for 3 days before they decided to open me up. A surgeon did not perform this operation but an OBGYN. They mde a cut just above my navel and cut all the way down near pubic area. The OBGYN then dicovered that myintestines were like a mushy substance and then decided to call in a surgeon. Once the surgeon seen that my appendix had burst or ruptured she removed it. They said after the surgery that I aspirated and it went into my lungs and I then went into respiratory failure. I was in a coma like state for weeks hooked up to respiratory machies and in an oxygen tent. The hospital kept giving me antibiotics to fight infections but I kept getting worse. Fever was so high that they could not get it down at any cost. I also had a blood transfusion but do not know what that was for. The hospital called my husband and told them he had to get there right away because things did not look good for me. The hospital then decided to life flight me to a different hospital about 3 hours away. The new hospital evidently got me in a better condition but that took time also sonce I was there for at least 2 to 3 weeks recovering. I was not able to walk or do some of the normal everyday things for myself because I lost all my muscle strength due to laying in a hospital bed for about 5 weeks. Once I got home out of the hopital I required to have physical therapist and home health nurses come to my home. Is this common for appendicitis? I requested my medical records from the firrst hospital but cannot understand most of it. Do I have a case???
  2. #2
    dedlock Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LauraM12 View Post
    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    In September of 2006 I went to the hospital emergency room with severe abdominal pain. They sen me home after some blood work and told me I had kidney stones and that I was pregnant and that was what was causing the pain. My husband then took me back to same hospital because the pain was more intense and I was in and out of consiousness. They took more blood work of course and then admitted me to find root of problem. the hospital doctors would not do an xray because of pregnancy nor did they do an ultrasound. I stayed in hospital for 3 days before they decided to open me up. A surgeon did not perform this operation but an OBGYN. They mde a cut just above my navel and cut all the way down near pubic area. The OBGYN then dicovered that myintestines were like a mushy substance and then decided to call in a surgeon. Once the surgeon seen that my appendix had burst or ruptured she removed it. They said after the surgery that I aspirated and it went into my lungs and I then went into respiratory failure. I was in a coma like state for weeks hooked up to respiratory machies and in an oxygen tent. The hospital kept giving me antibiotics to fight infections but I kept getting worse. Fever was so high that they could not get it down at any cost. I also had a blood transfusion but do not know what that was for. The hospital called my husband and told them he had to get there right away because things did not look good for me. The hospital then decided to life flight me to a different hospital about 3 hours away. The new hospital evidently got me in a better condition but that took time also sonce I was there for at least 2 to 3 weeks recovering. I was not able to walk or do some of the normal everyday things for myself because I lost all my muscle strength due to laying in a hospital bed for about 5 weeks. Once I got home out of the hopital I required to have physical therapist and home health nurses come to my home. Is this common for appendicitis? I requested my medical records from the firrst hospital but cannot understand most of it. Do I have a case???
    You need to have a medical malpractice attorney review your history and the records you obtained to decide if you have a viable case. The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to appendicitis. If you went home and returned your symptoms may have indicated the ectopic pregnancy ruptured.

    It is possible that these occured simultaneously. It is rare, but has occurred when the inflammation of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy is cause of adjacent inflammation.

    The specifics of your case will detemine if what was done was adequate based on how you presented to the ER. If the symptoms and work-up were adequate it will be difficult to support the ER was negligent.
    Last edited by dedlock; 05-29-2007 at 04:31 PM.
  3. #3
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice. I was reviewing my medical records but nothing in them even says anything about ectopic prenancy. I know I dont understand most of what is in there but you would think that the ER would of at least given an ultrasound to me before cutting me open. It does not make sense not to do one before opening me up if they knew before hand that I was pregnant.
  4. #4
    loveumms is offline Member
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    See an attorney!

    They should have performed an ultrasound, especially if your symptoms were similar to either an ectopic or appendicitis (both of which can be life threatening). There is evidence that a single abdominal film, even in pregnancy has minimal (if any) negative effects on the fetus.

    Did they perform a urinalysis? Was there blood in your urine? That may have steered them towards kidney stones but, still doesn't negate them performing further work up since often patients with appendicits present with hematuria (blood in urine).

    Any woman of child bearing age with a new positive pregnancy test is assumed to have ectopic until proven otherwise (with ultrasound). If the ultrasound showed an intrauterine pregnancy then they should have sought out other causes for your pain within a reasonable time frame. The length of time between you being admitted for change in mental status with severe abdominal pain, to when they finally took you to the OR is too long and someone should have thought of appendicitis sooner and took you to the OR. Even if your pregnancy was viable, appendicitis warrents surgery.
    Last edited by loveumms; 05-29-2007 at 05:44 PM.
  5. #5
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank You!! No they did not do a urinalysis on me. All they did initially is bloodwork. I did not complain of any lower back pain or any pain during urination. So for them to tell me I had kidney stones has to be wrong. after the second visit to ER and told them the abdomen pain was still there and more intense they finally admitted me. After that I dont remember too much only what close friends and family that were there with me day and night were telling me happened. I will be getting an opinion from an attorney real soon though.
  6. #6
    dedlock Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LauraM12 View Post
    Thank You!! No they did not do a urinalysis on me. All they did initially is bloodwork. I did not complain of any lower back pain or any pain during urination. So for them to tell me I had kidney stones has to be wrong. after the second visit to ER and told them the abdomen pain was still there and more intense they finally admitted me. After that I dont remember too much only what close friends and family that were there with me day and night were telling me happened. I will be getting an opinion from an attorney real soon though.
    For an ectopic pregnancy the blood work can be normal and ultrasound shows there is no fetus in the uterus. A laparoscopy, laparotomy, or D and C confirms the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy.

    It was the ruptured ectopic pregnancy that caused the shocky symptoms you described. But this is all speculation because you said the records don't say it was an ruptured ectopic pregnancy. You said you had a ruptured appendix.

    I mentioned the ectopic pregnancy as a suggestion of why they may have said you were pregnant.

    See an attorney who will help sort through your case.
  7. #7
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    oh ok well thank you very much. I will keep all this in mind when consulting with the attorney.
  8. #8
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
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    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.

    EC
    Last edited by ellencee; 05-29-2007 at 08:50 PM.
  9. #9
    loveumms is offline Member
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    EC the all knowing poster - do whatever she says and only what she says b/c she knows everything. What a joke. Maybe you should read what other people write instead of trying to instantly find what you think is written to "prove" wrong. What a miserable life you must live trying to always find wrong in others.

    Even IF the woman is/was pregnant, an acute abdomen thought to be appendicitis is a surgical emergency hence go to the OR. "Appendicitis is the most common nonobstetric cause of surgical emergency in pregnancy ... Treatment of acute abdomen in pregnancy depends on the specific diagnosis. Indications for emergency surgery are the same for patients who are pregnant as they are for any other patients ... Treatment of appendicitis is surgical. Perform surgery as soon as the diagnosis is seriously considered. Either laparotomy or laparoscopy can be performed. Even if the appendix appears normal, there are 2 reasons to remove it: (1) early disease may be present despite its grossly normal appearance and (2) diagnostic confusion can be avoided if the condition recurs"
  10. #10
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
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    sweetie, if you are anything, you are a child, a student. You have no experience in anything and qualify as an expert in nothing.

    My answers are based on my being an experienced certified legal nurse consultant and as an experienced acute and critical care clinical expert.

    Having to "correct", as you say, is an effort exerted by many of 'us' on the forum when 'we' believe the original poster has not received the best possible answer. Once you do become a professional of some kind, you will begin to develop some degree of understanding why the OP deserves the best answer possible.

    Debating the merits of a claim is a learning experience; quite different than the discussion we are having and which I am ending.

    What remains is the indisuputable fact that only an attorney who has reviewed this claim and invested money and time in doing so can opine as to whether or not a viable claim exists and whether or not it will ever see the light of day as an action in court.

    EC
  11. #11
    loveumms is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee View Post
    sweetie, if you are anything, you are a child, a student. You have no experience in anything and qualify as an expert in nothing.

    Never claimed to be an expert and am no longer a student. Believe whatever you want, I could really care less.
  12. #12
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the advice from all. I will try to repost what attorneys will suggest for my situation.
  13. #13
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    I really want to know where the inference to ectopic pregnancy came from?
    OP: Did you lose the pregnancy, or was it terminated?
    Was it ectopic?
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  14. #14
    ecmst12 is online now Senior Member
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    Even better question - Were you ever pregnant? Are you pregnant now? Was the pregnancy diagnosis itself an error?
  15. #15
    LauraM12 is offline Junior Member
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    According to my husband, the hospital told him my pregnancy had miscarried due to trauma my body was in, they never did a D & C after said miscarriage. No I am not pregnant now and dont want to be. I do not know if the pregnancy was a misdiagnosis, I am just going on what the hospital had told me the first time. There are references in my med records to a pregnancy. Nothing about it being ectopic as far as I can understand them.

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