Is this Medical Malpractice?

by Gary
(Winslow, Maine)

At the end of June I fell and hurt myself. I stretched a few days after that and it got worse. I have a pinching feeling in my back between my shoulder blades and numbness, weakness and pins and needles sensation in my right hand. It is spreading to my left hand now.

I spoke about this to my Primary Care Physician at and he responded with, "you're getting older and that's what happens." I told him that if he won't treat me he should send me to a specialist like at the spine clinic. They sent the wrong information to the clinic they told them I had chronic pain.

After straightening them out and telling them it isn't for chronic pain it is for a new injury. They refused to treat me because they didn't have any X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. My doctor doesn't want to send me for those things because he claims its a waste of time. I have been on pain medications since 2000 or so and this doctor took me off my meds.

Since then I have not been sleeping well and I'm mostly stuck in bed in too much pain to move. Please let me know what I can do.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Is this Medical Malpractice?":

I am a little confused and hopefully you can provide more information to clarify: On one hand, you stated that you did not have chronic pain yet on the other, you stated that you have been on pain medication since 2000 (which would indicate chronic to some extent).

I do understand that this is a new injury, however it is important for any doctor treating you to get your complete medical history including any previous issues. While this does not necessarily damage your claim for your injuries that occurred in June, it is still relevant.

In the law, there is a theory called "egg shell thin skull" which stands for the proposition that even if a plaintiff is fragile, older, injured, etc., the defendant takes the plaintiff as they come. If a pre-existing injury was exacerbated by a new accident, you are still entitled to compensation.

What you may wish to do is find a doctor or chiropractor who works on a lien. This means that they will wait until you are finished treating to request payment. Once you find a qualified doctor, they will refer you to the specialists needed.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for Is this Medical Malpractice?

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by: Anonymous

Yes I have chronic pain in my back, I've always had this. But the doctors want to treat my new injury as chronic pain when it is a NEW injury.

I have since made an appointment to speak to a lawyer in my area and the day I got the appointment the doctor scheduled me for an MRI.

The results show that I have a herniated disk in my neck and another one in my back between the shoulder blades. The technician that performed the MRI had orders to do only my head and spine but I insisted that he do between my shoulder blades and he did.

So now the five herniated discs that I had previously have 2 more, making it a total of 7. The doctor that ordered the MRI didn't want to see the area I had a problem with.

The area I have been wanting treatment for is in between my shoulder blades. The area I have chronic pain in is in my lower back in 2 separate places.

I have also seen another physician and she claimed I had a lot of inflammation, she treated me with 6 steroid shots. That helped my lower back for maybe a day but that was it.

My right hand is still numb and heavy, with pins and needles in 3 fingers. The sensation travels up to the elbow. Waiting on the doctor again on this to do something.

Not med-mal
by: Law Lady

As far as the question of whether this is medical malpractice, I would have to say that it is not.

Medical malpractice is defined as falling below the professional standard of care expected by medical providers in the community.

Some doctors are more cautious than others and will not order tests that they feel, in their professional opinion, are not needed. Whether to do so is also a judgment call that the doctor can make.

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