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Failure to Diagnose and Treat Torsioned Testicle

CATEGORIES: Misdiagnosis Emergency Room CASE LOCATION: Westmoreland Co., PA. CLASSIFICATION: Substantial Recoveries

This is a medical malpractice case arising from Defendants’ failure to timely diagnose and treat a 13 year old’s torsioned testicle resulting in the loss of that testicle.

During the first presentation, neither Emergency Room physician performed a manual genital examination to rule out testicular torsion. Testicular torsion is a time-critical diagnosis.

According to depositions taken in this case and hospital record, testicular torsion was a diagnosis under active consideration for this patient (differential diagnosis). The standard of care requires that testicular torsion be emergently considered and emergently confirmed or ruled out by manual examination for any adolescent male presenting with abdominal pain. The child was discharged home with a diagnosis of abdominal pain.

The minor returned to the ER approximately 12 hours later with severe genital pain and a massively enlarged testicle. Testicular torsion was diagnosed and a surgeon was called in to perform emergency surgery. The anesthesiology staff violated hospital policy and good medical practice by refusing to permit the required emergency surgery. The patient was transported by ambulance to another area for emergency surgery. This anesthesiology error caused another delay in treatment and cost the minor whatever chance the surgeon had to save his testicle.

The minor, suffered the functional loss of one testicle due to the negligence at the first presentation to the Emergency Room in the early morning hours of September 9, 2007, and the anesthesiology staff during the second delay upon his second presentation that same evening. The minor risks reduced fertility and risks total sterility if his remaining testicle is ever injured. He suffers from the deformity of an atrophied testicle which will require surgical removal and prosthesis. He suffered emotional injuries from the fear and pain he suffered on September 9, 2007, loss of trust in adults, loss of trust in the medical profession, and the emotional scarring from a testicular injury to an adolescent male.