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A Veteran’s Misdiagnosis Almost Kills Him

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Brian Tally, a former Marine, started having severe back pain in 2016. That is when the spiral of problems started.

  • His primary care physician prescribed painkillers over the phone
  • He went to the ER two times. He did not see a doctor either time
  • Nobody ordered a blood test at the hospital
  • He was only seen by a nurse practitioner, who diagnosed him with a lower back strain and prescribed more pills

“I was on the floor, I was in traumatic pain…I was literally in tears,” says Brian.

Brian finally paid out-of-pocket for an MRI. It revealed he had severe spinal stenosis and edema. He brought the results back to the VA and they finally agreed that he needed surgery.

But they could not do it for another nine months. After pressure, the VA agreed to pay another surgeon (non-VA) to perform the surgery. That surgeon said, “So, had you waited another six months, that would have been disastrous to his bone.” He said the VA should have recognized that something bad was going on much sooner.

Do you know what to do if you encounter a situation like this?

If you need a California medical malpractice lawyer, turn to the experienced team at Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation for help.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

We trust healthcare professionals to make us feel better when we are injured or ill. Most of the time, they do just that. Unfortunately, there are times when they make mistakes that cause us further harm.

Medical mistakes cause more than 250,000 annual deaths in the United States. Many of those revolve around misdiagnosis like the case we discussed above. Johns Hopkins researchers have found that diagnostic errors cause the most patient harm to any medical mistakes. These mistakes often happen in the emergency room where healthcare staff is overworked and busy.

What Else Can Happen?

  • Surgical Errors: We know that “Never Events” get the most attention (operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong surgery, leaving items inside someone). Most surgical errors have nothing to do with those and are more “minor” errors that do not have to be reported
  • Infections: Hospitals have an enormously high rate of infections. Anyone admitted to a hospital has a five percent chance of contracting an infection (this can increase the hospital stay by nearly 18 days and thousands of dollars)
  • Routine Visits: Think of how many medical professionals you see on an annual basis: your primary care physician, optometrist, dentist, pharmacist. Any of these groups have the potential to make harmful mistakes

What You Can Do

If you think you have been the victim of a medical mistake or a misdiagnosis, seek legal assistance immediately. At Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation, we are ready to help you. We will stop at nothing to investigate your case and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We know how difficult this is to deal with while you are trying to heal. When you need a medical malpractice attorney in California, you can reach out to us on our website by clicking here, or calling us at 818-783-5757.