When a Migraine Isn't a Migraine
In december of 1999, Dayna Curtis went to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Australia complaining of severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness. The staff told her she had a Migraine and sent her home.
Unfortunately, Ms. Curtis had bacterial meningitis, which the hospital failed to diagnose. As a result of the misdiagnosis, Ms. Curtis is now deaf in her right ear.
In March, 2008, Ms. Curtis was awarded $222,546 when a district court judge ruled that the hospital was negligent. The hospital appealed to the Full Court of the Supreme Court. Big mistake! Not only was the original decision upheld, the amount was increased to $288,846 plus thousands of dollars in legal expenses. Justice Tom Gray found:
"I reject the submission that the effects of Ms Curtis' deafness can be characterised simply as inconveniences ... Ms Curtis will suffer the consequences of this injury throughout her life."
Ms. Curtis commented:
"They should have prevented this in the first place when they wheeled me out of the hospital ... if a young person who is otherwise healthy cannot walk they shouldn't let them go."
Cases such as this are rare, but there's a valid point here. We sometimes have to advocate for ourselves or family members. If a diagnosis doesn't seem right, please don't hesitate to get a second opinion.
Dowdell, Andrew. "QEH to pay out $288,000 to young woman left deaf." AdelaideNow. December 9, 2008.