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How a missed diagnosis altered a man's life

It's an all-day, eight-hour drive from Huntington to Franklin County, Missouri. That is where a jury recently decided that a 55-year-old man should receive more than $12.5 million in a medical negligence lawsuit he filed against two hospital doctors and others.

A news outlet reported that the total includes past economic damages, past noneconomic damages, future noneconomic damages and future medical damages.

The responsibility for the compensation will be split between Mercy Hospitals East Communities and one doctor (the combination is responsible for 65 percent) and another doctor and Mercy Hospitals East Communities (this combination is responsible for the other 35 percent).

According to the news report, the man went to the hospital in late April of 2014 with abdominal pain. A CT scan showed atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and portal vein gas. The two doctors talked on the phone and recommended that the man get an outpatient ultrasound.

A few days later, he returned to the ER with continuing pain. An examination this time revealed a blood clot in his heart. He was immediately hospitalized for emergency bypass surgery and bowel resection.

The man later sued, claiming the doctors and hospital had failed to properly diagnose his condition, do a proper surgical consultation and hospitalize him after his first visit.

The doctor and hospital negligence resulted in multiple surgeries and a requirement that he get parenteral nutrition into the foreseeable future. (Parenteral nutrition is a way of receiving all nutrition intravenously, bypassing normal eating and digestion of foods.)

The process takes hours per day and obviously robs a person of the enjoyment of food as well.

Those who have been harmed by improper diagnosis or other medical errors can pursue justice and compensation with the help of a skilled attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation.

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