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Failure to diagnose blood clot cost young woman her leg

At 18 years old, Oregon residents should be looking forward to the future. However, medical conditions can interfere with those futures, and young patients depend on doctors to figure out what is wrong and how to fix the issues. A failure to diagnose can quickly derail any plans for the future by causing permanent injuries or even death.

For instance, an 18-year-old woman was suffering from pain in her left leg in November 2009. She went to the doctor, but she did not receive any relief. The pain continued to get worse, so she went to the emergency room at a hospital in her area.

She was sent home without a proper diagnosis. Eventually, it was discovered that she had a blood clot in her leg that was cutting off the circulation to the rest of her leg. By the time the correct diagnosis was made, it was too late to save her leg, and it had to be amputated.

The now 23-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against the doctor who initially failed to find the blood clot, Southern Connecticut Vascular Center and Griffin Hospital. The hospital settled with the woman, but the doctor and vascular center did not. The trial lasted for approximately a month, and after just four hours of deliberation, the jury awarded her $25 million.

Oregon residents who become the victims of failure to diagnose have the same right as this woman did to file medical malpractice claims. When the evidence proves that the treatment a patient received was not at the level of current medical standards, causing serious harm, the court could consider awarding damages to the victim and/or the family. Any restitution received -- whether through a settlement or trial -- could be put toward current and future medical expenses and other needs of the victim.

Source: ctpost.com, "Trumbull doctor ordered to pay $25 million for alleged malpractice", Daniel Tepfer, Oct. 14, 2016

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