Woman becomes paralyzed after doctors fail to diagnose symptoms

In June 2007, a woman was rushed to an emergency room because she was beginning to lose strength and sensation in her legs. The woman was very concerned about what was happening to her, but it took hours for doctors to determine what was causing the patient’s symptoms. By the time the woman’s condition was diagnosed, she was left paralyzed from the waist down.

This incident did not happen in Chicago, but it is a tragic example of how damaging doctors’ errors can be. The patient is now suing the medical center that had treated her, a neurologist and two other doctors for contributing to her permanent injuries. The lawsuit accuses the hospital and medical professionals of failing to diagnose the woman’s medical condition in a timely manner. Because the patient’s condition was not properly diagnosed, she was deprived of treatment that could have prevented her paralysis injuries, the lawsuit claims.

According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient had been suffering from a herniated disk when she was rushed to an emergency room in New Jersey in 2007. Her condition was not diagnosed until 12 hours after arriving at the hospital. The patient’s nerves were compressed near the end of her spinal cord, but doctors did not notice this and they were not able to pinpoint what was causing the patient to lose feeling in her legs.

After failing to diagnose the patient’s condition, the hospital transferred the woman to a different medical center. The second medical center diagnosed the patient with cauda equine syndrome. The condition may lead to paralysis, but when it is diagnosed in a timely manner, the condition may be treated before patients suffer paralysis injuries. Unfortunately, the woman’s diagnosis was delayed too long. She became paralyzed from the waist down and will be confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of her life. Her injuries are permanent and have had a significant impact on her daily life, restricting her from being able to do so many of the activities that she was able to do before she became paralyzed.

Source: The Jersey Journal, “Woman paralyzed from waist down suing Jersey City Medical Center for $1 million,” Daniel Reyes, February 26, 2013

Failure to Diagnose


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