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Delayed diagnosis, treatment may lead to serious harm

When medical providers in West Virginia fail to exercise reasonable degrees of care in treating patients, patients may end up suffering serious harm with long-term consequences. This failure may come in the form of a delayed diagnosis or treatment. One man in a different state recently claimed that city hospital's bureaucratic incompetence led to a treatment delay that resulted in the loss of his leg. The man, 46, has since filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in this case.

The man claimed he was not given the critical emergency treatment he needed for 13 hours. This was reportedly due to both red tape and miscommunication. As a result, his right leg had to be amputated above the knee.

The ordeal occurred after the man was struck by a car at a little after 6 a.m. one day. When he was rushed to the hospital, doctors determined that his right leg was cold and had no blood in it. A CT scan indicated that the man required emergency vascular surgery so his limb could be rescued, but no surgeon was present at the hospital, so another hospital was contacted. Because no one at the second hospital answered, the first hospital had to leave messages. According to the suit, the man was eventually taken to the second hospital, but his CT scan was not sent with him, so a new scan had to be done at the second hospital, delaying his surgery further.

The man finally underwent surgery at a little past 7 p.m., but his right leg could not be saved at this point. According to the suit, the treatment delay was egregious. He is seeking $24 million as part of his medical malpractice lawsuit. When a delayed diagnosis or treatment causes a patient to suffer harm in West Virginia, he or she has the right to file a medical malpractice suit, seeking damages. If liability is established, based upon a showing of negligence, compensatory damages may be awarded, and punitive damages are also possible in cases of egregious fault.

Source: New York Daily News, "Man who lost his leg blames Brooklyn hospital in a $24M medical malpractice lawsuit", Dareh Gregorian, July 5, 2016

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