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Ohio woman wins $1.2 million in failure to diagnose suit

Most surgery complications are treatable. But in some cases, doctors miss the signs that something has gone wrong. A recent failure to diagnose suit resulted in damages for a Hamilton, Ohio, woman who suffered a debilitating medical mistake.

When the woman began suffering from abdominal pain her doctor ordered two partial hysterectomies, but he didn't order an abdominal scan. The scan showed that she had a perforated bowel but wasn't performed until her symptoms became life-threatening.

Today the woman suffers from reduced lung capacity. She can no longer take deep breaths and needs a walker to move. She and her husband won $1.2 million in damages after a jury found her doctor negligent.

Failure to diagnose doesn't always make the headlines. Sometimes it is just hard to figure out what is making someone sick. But when a doctor is negligent and doesn't order the tests a patient needs, it can be a serious medical mistake. Patients who are given the wrong treatments may suffer unnecessary surgery and pain. And in many cases their lives are endangered - or even lost - because of a doctor's failure to connect their symptoms to underlying causes.

Beyond just the failure to diagnose, doctors may be found negligent for problems such as emergency room errors, failing to identify or treat problems that appear on test results, surgical errors such as wrong-site surgery, mistakes with prescription medications, and birth injuries.

It's important for Columbus-area patients who think they might have suffered a failure to diagnose or another kind of medical malpractice to consult with a lawyer. If the doctor acted negligently, then doctor error can be grounds for receiving damages through a lawsuit.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, "Hamilton jury awards woman $1.2M in malpractice suit," Amber Hunt, Sept. 11, 2014

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