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New Orleans doctor sued for fatal misdiagnosis

When a loved one is not feeling well or is in need of medical assistance, we trust that the doctors and medical staff have the patient's best interests at heart. Not understanding the treatment processes ourselves, we expect trained professionals to be able to cure or correct the ailments that are causing the distress. Louisiana has safety guidelines and standards of care in place to protect patients who are entrusted to medical care. When a doctor's misdiagnosis injures a patient, our faith in the training and accountability of medical staff is shaken if not shattered completely.

For one New Orleans family, a doctor's misdiagnosis resulted in their son's death. When the doctor diagnosed their son with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, treatment for ADEM began with little resistance. But the doctor allegedly failed to gather an adequate family history and neglected to evaluate the symptoms' progression during treatment. Due to the inefficiency to obtain and observe the prior conditions, the test results were also misread and misinterpreted.

Because the test results were inaccurate, the medical team and the leading doctor were unable to diagnose the real cause of illness after the boy's death. The autopsy revealed that the child had necrotizing and hemorrhagic pancreatitis. Both of these may have been the result of the course of treatment for ADEM, which had been a misdiagnosis for the ailment that brought the family to the medical institution to begin with.

This is a tragic medical malpractice case due to a doctor's negligence and the failure to diagnose and treat the cause of illness. The victim's family has filed suit against the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the doctor who misdiagnosed their son. Though nothing can compensate for the loss of a loved one, reimbursement can help grieving family members handle the medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering they endured as a result of the misdiagnosis.

Source: The Louisiana Record, Hospital, doctor sued over death of child, Elizabeth Fitzsousa Todd, Feb. 11, 2014

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