Patient sues, alleges delay in testis Ca diagnosis
Defendants counter that plaintiff failed to return for follow-up visit as instructed
A 27-year-old Michigan man presented to a hospital emergency room following a bar fight during which he had been hit in the head with a brick. The emergency room team assessed the patient from head to toe and admitted him to the hospital, noting his left testicle was swollen. An ultrasound was performed the next day.
It was determined that his swollen testicle was consistent with an injury during the fight and he was discharged 2 days later with instructions to follow up with a trauma clinic. The patient presented to the trauma clinic 9 days after his discharge.
The clinic noted his testicular contusion and swelling. He was told to take it easy and return to the clinic if the swelling worsened or did not resolve. The patient, however, did not return for almost a year, although he claimed he still had swelling in his testicle during that time. At this time, he complained of flank pain and vomiting.
Imaging revealed he had a left testicular mass and an 11.6-cm complex retroperitoneal lesion in direct contact with the aorta anterior to the left kidney, compressing the kidney and resulting in mild left-sided hydronephrosis. He was diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer. His testicle was ten times larger than it was a year earlier, according to his physician's report. The patient underwent an orchiectomy, and the pathologist’s final impression was metastatic germ cell tumor. Chemotherapy and radiation were recommended, and subsequently he had a nephrectomy to remove the retroperitoneal mass.
Also from Dawn Collins, JD: Partial nephrectomy results in bowel injury, lawsuit
The man filed suit against the hospital and the physicians who initially treated him, including the general surgeons. He claimed that they violated the standard of care when they failed to diagnose and appropriately treat his testicular cancer during his initial treatment a year earlier. The man claimed that the chemotherapy he underwent, as well as the surgical removal of his testicle and abdominal mass, caused him to be infertile. He argued that this would not have occurred had the cancer been diagnosed and treated in a timelier manner.