In Bagley v. Rochester General Hospital, a woman presented to the renal dialysis unit with complaints of abdominal pain, constipation, and complications from end-stage diabetic renal disease. This was, regrettably, not a healthy woman. The hospital did some tests and sent the woman to the emergency room believing that she had bacterial peritonitis as a result of being on dialysis. The woman’s condition went downhill from there and she died of cardiac arrest. Plaintiff contends that the real problem was a ruptured acute appendicitis, not peritonitis.
Let me start with a blunt statement: our law firm would never take this case. Let’s assume it is exactly as the victim’s family says. The hospital’s doctors screwed up and misdiagnosed the patient. Even if this is true — I would bet that, although it is just a hunch on these facts — I don’t think it is a viable medical malpractice action.