Product News and Recalls

Ebola Victim’s Family Obtains Settlement for Missed Diagnosis

The Dallas Morning News recently reported on the misdiagnosis of Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan. Mr. Duncan died from the illness in October of this year. His death was followed by public scrutiny of the care he received and an eventual settlement over the misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.

The patient was initially seen in the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. According to the report, he complained of headache and abdominal pain. He was diagnosed with sinusitis and sent home. Two days later, Duncan returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with Ebola via a blood test. The emergency room physician who had initially treated Duncan misdiagnosed the deadly disease.

According to The Dallas Morning News article, the emergency room physician is now speaking out about the mistaken diagnosis describing the ordeal as “a little bit like getting struck by lightning.”

The emergency room physician has reportedly acknowledged the misdiagnosis. He claims he was unaware of Duncan’s recent travel to Liberia, despite a nurse’s note in the medical record about recent travel to Africa. The physician maintains that, given the information available at the time, the patient’s treatment was appropriate.

Shortly after Duncan’s death, the hospital began making public apologies and, in testimony to a congressional panel acknowledged that “we did not correctly diagnose” the victim. Duncan’s family reached a settlement with the hospital in November.

Unfortunately, missed diagnoses are relatively common while admissions of fault and immediate settlements are essentially unheard of; outside of special scrutiny given to cases like Ebola. If you or a family member has been the victim of a missed diagnosis or a wrong diagnosis, contact the medical negligence attorneys at Lopez McHugh to discuss your legal options. Our experienced medical mistake lawyers offer free consultations and can help you determine whether you may be eligible for a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.