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Failure to Diagnose A Fractured Skull & Medical Malpractice

Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers represent patients in cases involving the failure to diagnose a skull fracture.   When a patient visits a hospital or doctor after an accident or traumatic injury to the head, there must be consideration given as to whether the patient has a fractured skull.  The failure to diagnose and treat a skull fracture can have significant consequences to the patient, including permanent brain injury or even death.   When the condition is timely diagnosed, it can often be treated with minimal injury or harm to the patient. 

A skull fracture is typically diagnosed by a CT Scan, X-ray,  or similar radiology study.  When a patient presents to the hospital with the possibility of a fractured skull, the medical personnel should look at several indicators to determine if a CT Scan is necessary.  For adults, these include:

  • A Glascow Coma Scale less than 15 at two hours after the injury
  • A suspected open or depressed skull fracture
  • More than one episode of vomiting
  • Retrograde amnesia greater than thirty minutes

Doctors should also carefully evaluate the patient and perform a manual examination for any type of bone deformity.    A loss of consciousness or altered mental state can also be suggestive of a skull fracture or other intracranial injury.  The examination of the patient, the history, and the symptoms can give rise to a diagnosis of a fractured skull, but at the very least provide a basis for the physician to order a CT scan or other radiology study.  A neurologist should also be consulted if a fractured skull is suspected so that a complete and comprehensive neurological exam can be performed.

The failure to timely diagnose a skull fracture can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.  To prove this type of case, it is necessary to establish that there was a reasonable basis to suspect the presence of the skull fracture and the factors present to order a CT scan.  It is also necessary to establish that a serious injury occurred due to the failure to identify the fracture and provide proper care.  The delay in treating a skull fracture can lead to permanent injury or brain damage and the impact on the patient and the family can be devastating.  This includes permanent disability and the need for lifetime care if the brain damage resulting from the untimely diagnosis is severe.

Contact Your Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer

To determine whether you or someone you know has the legal basis to file a failure to diagnose a skull fracture medical malpractice case, you should contact our office immediately to discuss your case.  There are strict time deadlines for filing cases and if you miss that deadline your case will be barred forever.  Fill out our contact form or call our medical malpractice lawyers at (800) 606-1717 to get started on your case.