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Alleged failure to diagnose, treat condition grounds for lawsuit

When doctors and health care staff in West Virginia fail to exercise a reasonable degree of care when working with patients, patients who are hurt as a result have the right to explore all of their legal options. Improper care may be in the form of a failure to diagnose a condition or a failure to treat it appropriately. In one case in another state, a women's state prison inmate claimed that she received improper treatment for her kidney stone and eventually lost the kidney. She has since filed a suit against the doctors working at the state's department of corrections and against the state itself.

In the woman's lawsuit, alleging negligence, the woman claimed that she felt intense pain one day in her stomach area while in a county jail. Medical staff at the county jail looked at X-ray images of the woman's abdomen, where they saw a huge kidney stone. The woman alleged that she was suffering from severe pain and fevers, and blood was in her urine. However, she reportedly received no medical treatment besides pain medication.

When the woman was later struggling to walk due to serious pain, she was examined by doctors and found to have a major kidney infection. The woman had reportedly developed an abscess, and the kidney was removed. The plaintiff contended that doctors at the prison did not adequately examine the woman, document all of her symptoms, offer proper follow-up care and refer her to a urologist soon enough.

By law, health care professionals in West Virginia must treat patients based on the standard of medical care. If they do not do this, resulting in harm to a patient, the patient has the right to file a medical malpractice claim against the allegedly responsible parties. Financial damages achieved in a case involving failure to diagnose or treat a patient properly may help to cover any losses tied to the case, including medical costs.

Source:, "Coffee Creek inmate who had kidney removed files medical malpractice lawsuit against state", Maxine Bernstein, April 18, 2016

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