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Monday, April 9, 2007

We demanded another X-ray: A medical misdiagnosis error

Before her fall last May 24, the mother of five was an active woman, who visited the supermarket once a week and regularly walked round Leyland Market in the United Kingdom with her husband.

The fall left her bedridden and in severe pain, and the pain led her to a hospital’s Emergency Room. There, staff gave her an X-ray and then told 84-year old Sarah Jackson there had been no fracture to her leg.

But her daughter in law was firm: "We demanded another X-ray," three weeks later. Doctors then found a break, and transferred her to a hospital that could perform a hip replacement. The operation took place on June 19. She died on July 8 after the wound became infected and she developed a blood infection (septicemia).

Now a court is holding an inquest about why her broken hip was undiagnosed for three weeks.

Advice for patients and advocates: Remember that the interpretation of X-rays is very subjective. Insist on an independent reading if you suspect the radiologist X-ray reader missed seeing a fracture.

Read another hip fracture misdiagnosis story, or read the source story.

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