medical malpractice?


Old 09-10-08, 04:42 PM
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medical malpractice?

Let's say a friend of mine was weeding his garden. He overdid it, felt a sharp pain in his hand, and was unable to close his hand (make a fist) without extreme pain immediately following the injury.

Tried self-treatment for a few weeks, which didn't work. Still couldn't close his hand.

Went to his GP, who referred him to a hand surgeon.

Hand surgeon hears how the injury happened, but says "you have xxx disease."

Sends the guy for six weeks of p/t (at a clinic owned by the surgeon). No better.

Surgeon gives guy a cortisone injection in the hand. No better.

Says the last step is surgery for the xxx disease he found, to "remove the diseased tissue".

Surgery and another six weeks of p/t barely make a difference. Within six months, hand is back where it was, unable to close into a fist, and thus useless for daily activities.

All treatments were paid by guy's private health insurance, totalling over $10K.

Guy figures nothing will help, and toughs it out for another two years.

Then learns of another hand specialist. Goes to see him. Specialist does a full exam, then says "you don't have any symptom of any disease. You have trigger finger tendinitis."

Explains situation and gives him one cortisone shot in the damaged area, and the problem completely disappears within 24 hours. Totally back to normal.

Is there a malpractice issue here? Even with "the guy's" description of what caused the injury, the surgeon went in a completely different direction and carried out treatment which changed nothing. Guy still can't figure out why surgeon said he had xxx disease, even tho' he told the surgeon he injured his hand while working in the garden.

Of course, the surgeon *could* say he removed all evidence of the disease during the surgery.

Should "the guy" just grin and bear it? The 2.5 years of inability to use the hand, plus the 12 weeks of p/t routines?

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Old 09-10-08, 05:00 PM
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Pullleeeze... disease of the hand? Come on..

Thats why you can get second opinions.

Jeez...bad mechanics, bad plumbers..bad doctors...whats the diff?

He, "your friend", needs to be an informed person. If "he" wasn't happy with the diagnoses of his car problem, would he put up with it for 2.5 yrs? Or would he go to another shop?

Doctors are not all seeing matter what some people may think.

Sure, sue the doc, get a minor settlement (maybe), raise the rates for everyone else.
Old 09-10-08, 07:37 PM
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From 2 1/2 years ago? I'm not even sure you could file suit that long after the fact. And I rather suspect the surgeon has a file folder with all kinds of signed permission & release forms.
Old 09-11-08, 03:23 AM
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Yep - original injury was 2.5 years ago. But keep in mind that the true diagnosis and treatment didn't happen 'til after that 2.5 years. In the interim, it was assumed the first surgeon was right.

Old 09-11-08, 03:40 AM
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Your friend needs to consult a lawyer. He was not too bright to wait so long but I feel a specialist should be pretty sure before putting someone under the knife.
Old 09-11-08, 08:26 AM
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My other thought was I don't know how the courts/juries treat cases like this. The doctor's defense could be that he did no harm, even though he was unable to correct the original problem.

What did/does the person's regular doctor have to say, since he was the one to originally refer the patient to that specialist?
Old 09-11-08, 07:50 PM
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Grin & bear it--he ain't gonna win in court...............

If I was on the jury--i would say " this guy ain't smart enought to get any money "
Old 09-11-08, 08:06 PM
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First of all, you do not clarify what the "xxx" disease was. Usually, xxx means other things in our society and of a more sordid nature. Why would you not be forthright on an anonymous forum.
I always said that everyone needs a class in 'Medical 101' so that they could communicate with doctors. Most do not have a clue. And, "xxx" is not in a medical text. This 'code' tends to mean many things.
Left hand or arm problem immediately sends up a heart problem to those who have at least read a medical book or listened to local gossip re: those with heart problems. But, it can mean many other issues. Do some internet research to find otherwise.
Are you are digging for gold? Medical conditions and diagnoses are based on symptoms. I missed my own diagnosis of pneumonia and allergies/bronchitis since January. Then, in July, I learn that I have Congestive Heart Failure from a new doctor. And, I need to seek additional opinions. I am not going to sue someone because I have been ill and have been researching myself like a mad scientist.
Your friend told the doctor he injured his hand in the garden. That's all he had to go on. Then, trigger finger tendonitis. And, a shot makes it disappear in 24 hrs.
Now, you are looking to sue someone? Geez? Get a life. Do you know what docs go through? Do you know what they have to do to sift through the ignorance and language of patients? Do you have a clue that what they have to do to work from the clues from patients?
And, you are looking for medical opinions from folks who are not MDs and describing an xxx disease which you do not identify, but you know that all assume that is HIV. So, you want to sue someone?
My advice is to go get a blood test and consult with your attorney. And, you need to do some internet research to learn how to language with the docs, attormeys, and your friend.
In addition, you do not identify the "xxx" disease. Many "xxx" diseases can cause similar sypmtoms, especially blood, congestive, and respiratory diseases. Also, there are psychosomatic diseases.

Not to offend you, but I feel that you are leaving out a lot of info. I don't want to be presumptious, but my heart tells me that you are gay. Have you or your friend tested positive?

If I have offended you in any way or stepped out of bounds, feel free to report me to the website manager. I just want you to know that dealing with the public is a difficult issue.
I conclude with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and no cure and progressive and chronic. I've been to two ERs. Do I sue? No. The doc who diagnosed me said I have had it since childhood and no one heard the murmurs of boom-swoosh-boom. I never had any money to go to a doc. Maybe they could have fixed me back then. Now, I have to wait it out.

Do you think I can sue someone. The ER doc in Jan. said I had pneumonia and I did. He had no clue that I had CHF. I've learned that it takes a trained ear and that I have had it since childhood. So, maybe we meet up with docs that graduated at the bottom of the class, but we can't sue them. They go on the symptoms we tell them. I was told, "Yes, pneumonia" Followup visit, "Allergies and bronchitis." Finally, I requested admission to a hospital in a different town, and, after 7 mos. learned that I was in L & R Congestive Heart Failure.
I am avid researcher and through my own 101 research. But, even a savvy little person like me can't outsmart the savviest of docs. I have no degree.

It is obvious that you have no degree or understanding of the medical community. If you are litigious and looking to sue someone or blame someone, then you may potentially blame yourself for lack of understanding and education re: the medical community as well as your failure to research potential causes of symptoms.
Old 09-12-08, 03:22 AM
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My goodness, there is an excellent creative writer of fiction here. Perhaps with an ax to grind as well.

Can't for the life of me figure out how someone could take "xxx" disease when used to describe the inability to close the hand, and turn it into an STD. Times are a' changing, but I've never heard of treating an STD with physical therapy and a cortisone injection!

Anyway, I see no reason to report the mis-diagnosis problem officially. I had thought that perhaps giving the details to the state medical board and the insurance company involved might be useful; might at least follow through on that.

Thanks for your comments gents. It's a topic I've never investigated, and appreciate your take.


Last edited by NutmegCT; 09-12-08 at 03:53 AM.
Old 10-06-08, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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med mal claim

The biggest hurdle you have to overcome is that you acted too late to sue by waiting so long. Most state's med mal statutes of limitation for med mal are 6 months, sometimes a year. These time periods usually start when the malpractice was first discovered or should have been discovered.

You might be able to argue the SofL was tolled during this time (meaning the time to sue stopped while you were trying to resolve the problem with the company).

Get to a Personal Injury attorney and he should be able tell you whether you have case.

Good Luck!

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