One of the scariest things imaginable is to suddenly, without warning, become completely paralyzed. To abruptly fine oneself alone and unable to move with no idea what the problem is would be terrifying for anyone young or old, male or female, in Oregon or elsewhere. A man had that very thing happen to him one day a number of months ago, and now he is suing a hospital and two doctors for their failure to diagnose an abscess that led to his paralysis.
Last summer a 43-year-old man went to an emergency room complaining of being in extreme pain due to a very stiff and sore neck. He had elevated blood pressure and heart rate and was HIV positive, yet a complete diagnostic analysis was not done. He was given medication for pain, inflammation and muscle spasms and was released to go home.
Three days later the man suddenly fell down, completely paralyzed from the neck down. Alone and unable to move, he laid there for hours before finally getting help. At a different hospital doctors discovered he had an abscess on his spinal cord that was causing his sudden paralysis and previous pain and stiffness.
Due to his condition not being properly diagnosed, the man now will suffer life-long complications. He has regained use of his arms but has permanent loss of control over his legs, bowels and bladder. He is suing the hospital as well as two doctors for failure to diagnose his abscess resulting in permanent, devastating damage. He is seeking $50 million for negligence and failure to obtain informed consent.
Emergency rooms are notoriously busy, understaffed and over capacity. That doesn’t relieve the doctors from their responsibilities of giving each patient their focus, a thorough diagnostic assessment of the patient’s symptoms and condition, necessary tests, proper treatment and thorough discussion of the patient’s condition and treatment plan. When a patient suffers due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose the problem or failure to provide proper treatment, a medical malpractice attorney can assist the victim in filing a claim against the physician. A successful claim can help the patient cover additional expenses associated with prolonged treatment as well as provide compensation for pain and suffering and loss of wages as allowed under Oregon law.