“Sorry. Wrong diagnosis.”

This young man died Thanksgiving morning.  He left behind him a wife and two young sons.

He went to his doctor with cold/flu like symptoms.  The doctor said, “It’s just a cold.”  So home he went.  He continued to feel poorly.  He called his doctor a few days later saying he was not feeling any better but was, in fact, feeling worse.  The doctor said, “It’s a cold.  You need to wait five days.”

He continued to feel so poorly he went to the ER at St. Luke’s who promptly diagnosed him with the H1N1 flu.  Unable to treat him properly, they sent him to UofP Hospital in Philadelphia.  There he was put in a chemically induced coma, with the hopes that with treatment he would recover.  Emergency surgery was then performed to deal with complications.

Sadly, this young father did not recover, but died due to the swine flu.

The son of this young father had just gotten over the swine flu when his own symptoms started.

“It’s just a cold.”

Pray for the repose of Craig.

Pray for Craig’s family and children.

Pray for Craig’s doctor.  He made a mistake.

How does one write that in the medical chart?  “Whoops.  I made a boo-boo.  Not a cold but H1N1.  Patient now deceased.”

Kyrie Elesion.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sevpr
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 13:45:48

    I have heard that doctors generally do not apologize for a misdiagnosis because it could be used as an admission of culpability or guilt in court if someone sues him. sigh.

  2. Athanasia
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 13:33:14

    Turtlemom3 – I understand your thoughts on this; however, the fact that the man’s son had just recovered from swine flu, in my opinion, should have been a clue to the fact that after 3 days of “getting worse” the man had more than a cold. Yes, he made a mistake. We are all human. Doctors are not gods as sevpr said.

    Hopefully, at the very least, the doctor apologized to the family.

  3. turtlemom3
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 10:27:15

    It is so hard to tell the difference between a cold and mild flu. The tests for flu are not all that accurate – 30 – 40% wrong negative results. Part of the problem is that MDs and RNs all too frequently will rely on these test results and not question them. They are trained that way – test results are what you base everything on. And this is not malpractice – it is poor judgment. Poor judgment cannot be sued against. Had the MD knowingly not treated, that would be different. It would be negligence. I know this doesn’t “sound right.” But that’s the way the legal system sees it. Otherwise, every MD could be sued for every mistake of judgment they make. Lord have mercy! Memory Eternal!

  4. George Patsourakos
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 18:33:15

    It is unfortunate that a doctor termed this man’s illness a cold, rather than swine flu, and this mistake resulted in his death.

    I think the family of this man may be able to sue this doctor for providing a totally incorrect diagnosis.

    My sympathies go to this man’s family. May his memory be eternal.

  5. sevpr
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 04:24:09

    Medicine is not so much a science as an art. Doctors are not gods, but human beings. I say this as my friend lays dying of cancer masked as a torn rotator cuff shoulder injury. Lord have mercy.

  6. Elizabeth @ The Garden Window
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 07:45:49

    Poor lad. That is so desperately tragic 😦

    His doctor could do with some serious re-training, especially given that the young man’s background as a Marine would make him very unlikely to complain about having a mere “cold”.

    Memory Eternal……and may God grant comfort to his poor family.

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