Q: Failure to medically diagnose due to mental illness stigma?
A patient tears rotator cuff, also has non related 10% compression fracture of t7 vertabrae; sees primary care, and spine specialist. Patient also diagnosed with mental illness. MRI's / Xrays of the spine, the patient is sent to PT for the should and neck causing symptoms worsen. No follow up on shoulder pain, muscle atrophy, decreased arm function by medical providers, i.e xrays, mri's. Dr.s say shoulder symptoms likely somatoform disorder, symptoms are faked, don't make sense. 8 years later patient sees new specialist, orders MRI who states the chronic shoulder pain and other symptoms are related to an injury to rotator cuff/tear muscle damage which did not heal right and can not be surg repaired. Is this failure to diagnose? Patient is not or ever diagnosed with Somatoform dis.
A: Yes but.....Big problem is twofold--lack of good orthopedic care but here there are two schools of thought; generally preference now is to not do surgery;
Second, biggest problem is statute of limitations. When should the person know if they have issues and doctor tells them it's something else?
Final issue that tends to make me say you'll get a no answer is that of cost--malpractice cases cost horrible amounts of money, many jurors have been exposed to insurance propoganda, and as a result the attorney --who is making an interest free loan to the case--will only take a case that has a good liklihood of success , and in an amount that will repay the investment of considerable money.
For closure suggest the person contact a member of the Ohio Assn for Justice--they give free consults.
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