Miss diagnosis- advice on action to take

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by fix_bayonets, Apr 29, 2010.

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  1. I am looking for some advice....

    I suffered an injury in January and was told by the physio on the course that when I returned to my unit I should get an MRI scan organised by my MO. When I returned to the MO and informed them of the advice from the physio they decided not to get me the MRI and just gave some physio.

    Shortly afterwards I deployed to HERRICK only for the injury to flare up during RSOI and me to be medevaced 3 weeks later having been in considerable pain for 2 plus weeks. I then had the MRI which ruled out the worst case scenario and am now recieving treatment which could go on for a year. I have also been told that I may never fully recover which could affect my promotion and ability to do my job.

    Several civilian friends who are doctors were surprised when I was not given an MRI originally and un-surprised when I was eventually returned to have one. They have suggested that the miss management of the injury could affect my chances of recovering fully and the time this could take.

    Should I take action against my MO or is there anything I should do?

    Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated.
  2. Document everything and keep all the records yourself.
  3. A) What reason did your MO give for saying no to the MRI

    B) Had you gone for MRI, what would the outcome have been? Would it have changed the management of your condition AT THAT TIME given the worst case scenario has since been ruled out?
  4. The MO decided I didn't need it no other reason given other than "not necessary"

    I believe it would have changed the management considering what has shappened since.... and the advice treatment now recieved.
  5. advice from pi lawyer perhaps? theyll be able to put a case forward and advise you of the next steps. i.e medical examinations
  6. 1) Find a solicitor
    2) Get them to request copies of medical notes, scans and reports
    3) They will get an independant (ish) opinion on whether the scan would have made a difference

    Take lots of ID and make sure you sign a consent for request of records, it'll save loads of time because the first thing the hospital will do on receiving your request is to ask for ID and statement of intent plus your consent to release records.
  7. 1) Would the MRI have changed your treatment plan?
    2) If 1) is true, did you suffer injury or a worsening of your condition due to the MRI not being performed

    If you can prove 1 and 2, then you have a case. If not (and I suspect that this may be the case as you have not had an operation after the MRI, just conservative treatment byt the sound of it) then tough.
  8. Bigbird is right.

    The question that arises is what difference there is between the believed seriousness of the injury and the actual seriousness of the injury. There is also a question of how reasonable it was for the medical professionals with whom you had contact to make the treatment decisions that they made.

    If you can show that the injury is more serious following the course of "treatment" received than it would have been had you received some other treatment then there may be a claim.

    However, what you need to do is look at professional advice from a practising solicitor. Service personnel can get a cut rate at some firms. There is a group of independent law firms which operate under the tag "Forces Law". They tend to have some ex mil types among them which may make things easier for you. They also offer a reduced rate. Check them out online. You should be able to find a firm fairly close to you, wherever you are.

    Good luck.
  9. Never approach medical professionals with whats wrong with you, especially if diagnosed by some non medical medical professional who may actually have specialist knowledge. they just don't like it LOL

    You should have gone in with an internet print out of you malady and mentioned you had a medico-legal solicitor on standby
  10. If every physio who wanted an MRI got one then there'd be no capacity left.

    "Oooh, sorry Dr. Smith, your suspected cauda equina will have to wait, we've got another 20 dodgy knees to do or they'll breach their 6-week wait"
  11. It was more a comment on MO/GP shirtyness than a clinical call on whether the chap required an MRI
  12. I'll be the judge of that!
  13. Physios can't request MRI. Doctors can. I was pointing out that there's a reason for that. No-one likes being told how to do their jobs anyway.

    "The physio told me to get an MRI" = Hackles raised
    "The physio thought an MRI might be necessary to ascertain whether I needed surgery for my ?[insert pathology]" = Helpful

    Mind you, if physios did actually have to request them then they'd soon learn how to refer/grovel properly - all doctors learn quickly when they are house officers, while getting shouted at by a terminally grumpy and unhelpful radiologist at the other end of the phone.
  14. we've noticed a huge increase in forms from GP's for xrays on physio recommendation. Some physios seem reluctant to treat without imaging first, especially for c.spine issues. A by-product of our newly litiginous (sp?) society perhaps.
  15. To be successful in a claim against your MO, you need to show three things:

    1. He has a duty of care,
    2. He failed in his duty of care, and,
    3. This failure to fulfil his duty of care is the cause, or partly the cause, of your injury.

    Now, (1) is easy.

    (2) is less so, unless he's been really remiss. The extant test in British law is still the Bolam test so, he's probably only failing in his duty if he cannot find a body of similarly qualified doctors who would have done as he did.

    But, by far and away, most claims fall at (3). Causation is the hardest thing to show, but, like (1) and (2) above, entirely depend on the particular facts of the case.


    DOI: I am not a lawyer, although I am just about the only one in my family who isn't.