On behalf of Hastings Law Firm P.C. posted in Failure to Diagnose on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.
Athletes nationwide, including here in Texas, can suffer unanticipated medical episodes that can — if not diagnosed timely — have severe consequences that may even include death. The family of a 15-year-old high school athlete filed a lawsuit against a hospital and an emergency room doctor after the 2011 death of their son. They allege that the doctor’s failure to diagnose a heart condition led to the death of their son.
Court documents state that the boy suffered breathing problems after an informal evening practice session with his basketball team. At the hospital’s emergency room, the doctor allegedly diagnosed asthma and gave him oxygen and medication and sent him home. Several hours later, the boy suffered cardiac arrest and died. According to an autopsy report, the boy suffered a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which involves thickened heart walls that are reportedly not an uncommon cause of death in young athletes.
While the plaintiff’s legal counsel accused the defendant of failure to conduct X-rays or further tests such as an electrocardiogram, the defense argued that the doctor had no reason to suspect any heart condition. The doctor justified his actions by claiming that the boy had received emergency care for asthma in the past. The plaintiff’s attorney contended that given the boy’s weakened condition, even after the asthma treatment on that night, the doctor’s failure to follow the treatment with further tests indicates medical malpractice.
This lawsuit for failure to diagnose the heart condition is due to be deliberated by a jury soon, and the outcome is yet unknown. A Texas resident who has lost a loved one due to a physician’s negligence is entitled to pursue financial relief by holding the doctor accountable in a civil lawsuit. However, this is a complex field of the law and such cases may be best navigated with the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Source: mcall.com, “Easton Hospital in malpractice trial in death of athlete, 15”, Riley Yates, Jan. 27, 2016