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Parents sue after doctors fail to diagnose son's cancer

Misdiagnosing someone's illness or condition, or failing to diagnose it and treat it in a timely fashion, can cause a patient to suffer much more than they would have if the condition had been diagnosed properly. A recent news story detailed how a young boy is reportedly paralyzed on his right side after doctors' failure to diagnose a tumor in the boy's brain. The boy's parents are now suing two hospitals, doctors and other medical staffers for failing to conduct necessary scans and tests, failing to note the boy's symptoms on his chart and other forms of medical negligence. The parents hope to recover at least $75,000 in damages and punitive damages.

The parents took their 5-year-old son to two hospitals after he reported feeling sick during a church service and exhibited nausea, slurred speech and various other symptoms. The boy was diagnosed with a strep throat and was sent home with antibiotics by the first hospital. The boy's symptoms worsened later that night, and his parents took him to the second hospital's emergency room.

The parents claimed that the boy was treated by mid-level practitioners who had not attended medical school and that the medical staff failed to conduct a CT scan and neurological assessment, even with the boy's symptoms. The boy apparently did not receive a CT scan and evaluation by a board-certified physician until 15 hours after his visit to the ER, and only after he had stopped breathing and suffered a stroke. The scan reportedly showed a brain tumor and fluid build-up in the brain. The parents claim that the staff's gross neglect while treating the boy led to his paralysis, neurological damage and other permanent injuries. The parents also claim that the hospitals' attempt to save money by using mid-level practitioners puts patients at risk and that some hospital employees have various posts on social media, showing contempt for kids and patients.

If a doctor or other medical staffer in Maryland fails to properly evaluate a patient's symptoms and order appropriate tests based on those symptoms, they could be liable for medical negligence and owe damages to the patient and the patient's family. The hospital may also be liable for the negligence of its' employees.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "The boy had brain cancer, but he was diagnosed with strep. Now his parents are suing," Amy Renee Leiker, April 9, 2018

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