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Articles by Erin OBrien

Delay in Stroke Intervention Results in Patient’s Permanent Disability

Case Summary An ambulance brought a middle-aged male with a history of chronic pain and meloxicam and tramadol treatment to the emergency room. The patient’s spouse reported waking to find her husband crawling from the bedroom to the bathroom. He…

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Physician’s Failure to Inform Leaves Patient Disabled

Case Summary In this case, the patient underwent elective Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF) to alleviate chronic back pain. The L4-L5 level procedure resulted in the loss of nerve conduction in the lumbosacral plexus. The patient developed post-surgical left lower…

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Toddler Dies Following Physician’s Failure to Diagnose Tonsillar Herniation

Case Summary A previously healthy male toddler presented to the Emergency Department complaining of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours. Prior to presenting to the ER, the child had been awake for only one hour in the past 36 hours.…

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VP Shunt Catheter Misplacement Leads to Paralysis

Case Summary This case involves a young woman with a past medical history of Spina Bifida. Immediately following a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt replacement, she experienced right-sided hemiparesis. Postoperative CT imaging showed that the physician misplaced the VP catheter. Case Theory…

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Physician’s Failure to Diagnose Post-Hip Replacement Pain Leads to Amputation

Case Summary This case involves a patient who underwent a left total hip arthroplasty (hip replacement) to repair damage caused by severe osteoarthritis. Following the surgery, the physician prescribed anticoagulant medications. The patient developed left leg and foot pain and…

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Patient Suffers Quadriplegia After Delayed Infection Diagnosis

Case Summary This case involves a female patient with a chief complaint of a large lump in the front of her neck. Multiple outpatient providers evaluated the mass. The patient initially received a diagnosis of a localized MRSA neck abscess.…

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Physician’s Misdiagnosis Results in Patient’s Death

Case Summary In this case, a patient with a history of smoking, obesity, and back injuries presented twice to Urgent Care complaining of shortness of breath. Both times, a physician assistant saw him. The physician assistant diagnosed him with the…

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Patient Loses Both Kidneys Following Medication Error Allergy

Case Summary This case involves an adult female with a past medical history of paraplegia. At one time, the patient had suffered an adverse reaction to vancomycin, which included an adverse skin reaction and mild kidney impairment. As a result,…

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Failure to Diagnose Pediatric Hydrocephalus Leads to Tragic Results

Case Summary This case involves a pediatric patient who received regular well-child visits. The mother raised concerns regarding the child’s head size and shape as well as possible neck and skull deformities. In the first year of the child’s life,…

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Failure to Diagnose Intracranial Aneurysm Leads to Untimely Death

Case Summary In this case, the patient had a relevant past medical history of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The patient had previously informed her family care physician, who she had been seeing for many years, that her father…

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