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Did an overnight delay in testing constitute medical negligence?

Many Oregon residents end up being admitted to the hospital while doctors attempt to ascertain their conditions. It might take extensive testing before doctors know what the condition is and how to treat it. If doctors fail to conduct the appropriate testing in a timely manner, the subsequent delay in treatment might constitute medical negligence.

That is what one couple is asserting in their lawsuit filed against a hospital in their area, along with the two doctors who treated the husband. On Dec. 28, 2013, the man suffered from a weak left leg -- along with other extremities -- and tremors, and his gait was unsteady. Accordingly, he went to the emergency room. Doctors were not readily able to determine what was causing the man's symptoms, so he was admitted for further testing.

Shortly after he was admitted, doctors at the Illinois hospital ordered that an MRI be performed, but it was not done right away. For some reason, there was a delay, and the test was not conducted until the next day. By then, however, the man's undiagnosed stroke had caused him further damage since he did not receive the proper treatment in a timely manner. Among the man's lingering injuries is hemiplegia in his right side.

Whether the delay in testing, which delayed his diagnosis, was medical negligence will be up to the court where the suit was filed. Oregon residents who suffer injury, or lose loved ones, under similar circumstances might also have a medical malpractice claim against the party or parties deemed responsible. Any monetary restitution received after successfully establishing negligence could help with the medical expenses associated with the mistake, along with other damages incurred as a result.

Source:, "Chicago couple alleges malpractice against Northwestern Hospital", Robert Hadley, Dec. 9, 2015

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