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Ignored patient sues hospital for negligent care

In this day and age when there is so much information available at our fingertips, it can be a surprise when news of some obscure medical condition surfaces in the news. When the condition leads to a lawsuit, that has a way of catching the attention of even more people in Maryland and elsewhere.

Such may be the situation with the case of a bus driver in the northeast part of the country. He's in the process of trying to recover $2 million through a federal lawsuit claiming that a hospital he sought treatment at was guilty of medical negligence in its handling of his case.

According to the complaint, the man suffers from recurrent priapism. Priapism is a persistent erection that can develop without any pharmaceutical help or sexual stimulation. Those who suffer from it say it is at the very least uncomfortable, and at worst horribly painful.

On the day in question, April 17, 2009, the bus driver was working a run from Boston to New York when he began to suffer from the condition. After finishing the route and dropping off his last customer the man checked into an emergency medical facility for assistance. The emergency facility he checked himself into is affiliated with the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

In his complaint, the driver says that while he was waiting for assistance to relieve his pain the hospital's staff, which included physicians, was watching a baseball game on television. He says he sat in pain for nearly an hour unattended. When he did finally receive attention, he said it was incomplete and inadequate.

According to the man, the doctor refused to properly inject medication and no one contacted a urologist. Ultimately he was taken to the hospital, where he waited another four hours before anything was done. He says he underwent unsuccessful surgery and suffered months of additional pain because of the hospital's negligence.

As might be expected, the hospital denies the allegations. It says the man failed to follow reasonable medical advice and that it's too late for the man to file suit. Officials say the statute of limitations has passed.

Source: Telegram.com, "Man sues Conn. Hospital over erection treatment," John Christoffersen, Associated Press, June 4, 2012

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