I have an 70 year old, healthy, uncle who fell (unwitnessed) in his kitchen in January and presented to EMS with altered mental status (confused). The doctors diagnosed the problem as a "stoke" and have diagnosed him with several "small" stokes since. They really offered no hope for his improvment. This month they said they found "fluid" in his brain and drained approx. 30cc of fluid the surgeon described as "old" and being the "color of urine".
Now, after being in the hospital for 81 days, they are saying that his problems are due to an injury and not a stoke at all and that he suffered a "subdural hematoma" that is approx four months old (Janruary) and their treatment has become much more aggressive, but doctors seem to have become "evasive" from her.
My aunt is seventy years old and she does not know how to ask these questions and she lives in Dallas and I am in Houston.
My question is how in the year 2004 with our medical technology and expertise can a subdural hematoma with approx 30cc of blood NOT be detected in a ct scan for four months?
Thank you for your consideration.
You're going to have to go to "post a question" to get an official response from the doctor. Normally, they don't respond to comments officially, so try to get a new thread going and hopefully the doctor can shed some light on your situation.
If you ask me, however, the doctors clearly messed up. Presented with a mentally altered 70 year old, they rushed to judgment and assumed it was a stroke, and not a subdural hematoma resulting from a head injury. A CT scan right there and then should have picked it up, and if it didn't (as sometimes hematomas take some time to develop) it CERTAINLY should have been picked up at some time during the 81 day stay (a CT at 3 months surely would have detected it). Sounds to me like you have a winning medical malpractice lawsuit.
To answer your next question (unofficially, of course), even in the year 2004, between 50,000 and 200,000 die of medical errors each year across the nation's hospitals and hundreds of thousands more (literally) are injured by the health care system. Medical mistakes are very common, but they are usually more subtle and easier to cover up than this mishap that happened to your uncle.
It's an unfortunate thing that happened to him, and I offer my condolences, but the medical staff screwed up here -- big time -- and for what it's worth, you should have no problem whatsoever securing a significant settlement, which, at the very least, would help your aunt immeasurably, from a financial perspective at least. The settlement would also obviously cover the economic damages (cost of hospitalization, cost of continued care, etc.). Good luck to you.
Thank you for your information. I posted it as a question. Also, I dont think she is interested in pursuing a malpractice suit, she just wants to know what happened to her husband. Thanks!