Can I claim compensation for a failure to diagnose appendicitis? I visited the emergency room at the hospital with severe abdominal pain and the doctor told me it was probably a stomach virus that had been going around. Later that evening I was in so much pain my wife took me back to the hospital to the hospital and I had to have an emergency appendectomy.
A failure to diagnose appendicitis in an emergency room could well be due to medical negligence of the doctor who completed your examination. Appendicitis is one of the most common diagnoses made in an emergency room, and also a common complaint which is misdiagnosed. Appendicitis usually presents as severe abdominal pain in the lower right hand side of the abdomen, with nausea and fever also common. The symptoms are often clear, although a full examination does need to be made to confirm the condition.
Failure to immediately operate can result in a perforated or ruptured appendix, and bacteria can escape into the bloodstream or the rupture of the appendix could cause a potentially deadly condition called peritonitis. If the doctor did not perform a physical examination, such as applying pressure to the abdomen to see if pain increased, and has been deemed to be negligent in his duty of care to a patient, then there may be a case which could see failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation awarded for pain and suffering.
Failure to diagnose appendicitis in this case appears on face value to have been a serious error. You revisited the same hospital and were correctly diagnosed and received treatment; and on those grounds you could be eligible to claim compensation. It could be argued by the defence that with only a few hours having elapsed between the initial mistake and receiving proper treatment, that failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation would not be applicable. However if you have suffered health problems as a result of this delay, your hospital stay was longer that would otherwise have been expected or, as a result of the delayed diagnosis, there were complications such as peritonitis, you could well be eligible to make a claim against the doctor or hospital on the grounds of medical negligence and a failure in the duty of care to a patient.
All medical negligence claims should be discussed with a medical negligence solicitor at the earliest opportunity, who will assess the case and advise you on your eligibility to claim compensation.