A medical malpractice plaintiff in West Virginia filed his medical malpractice claim against a physician and the physician’s medical practice on June 18, 2012, alleging that the physician failed to timely and properly diagnosis the man’s complaints of hearing loss. The medical malpractice case alleges that the man began going to the physician in January, 2008, with complaints of asymmetrical hearing loss (his hearing loss was greater in his left ear).
Over the course of time, the physician conducted several audio-grams on the man that indicated hearing loss in the man’s left ear but the physician failed to diagnose the basis for the hearing loss.
The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that more than two years later, the man suffered a sudden complete loss of hearing in his left ear. An MRI taken at that time indicated that the man had an acoustic neuroma, which is a non-cancerous, slow-growing tumor of the vestibular cochlear nerve, which connects the ear to the brain and is located behind the ear and under the brain.
The more common symptoms of an acoustic neuroma include hearing loss in the affected ear, tinnitus (ringing) in the affected ear, and vertigo. The most useful method to diagnose an acoustic neuroma is to perform an MRI of the head. Despite being slow-growing, an acoustic neuroma, if left untreated, can cause hearing loss, balance problems, and problems with movement and feeling in the face. Very large acoustic neuromas can lead to hydrocephalus (the build up of fluid in brain), which can be life-threatening.
In the West Virginia man’s case, surgery was performed to remove the acoustic neuroma. Because the tumor was so large at the time of surgery, the man suffered facial drooping, has no hearing in his left ear, and he allegedly has cognitive deficits because part of his brain had to be removed during the surgery.
The man’s medical malpractice case (which includes his wife as a plaintiff) alleges that had the physician diagnosed the man’s acoustic neuroma in a timely fashion, the extent of the permanent nerve damage that he suffered would not have occurred or his injuries would have been less extensive.
Hearing loss, especially if there is a total loss of hearing, is a very serious, debilitating medical condition. People who suffer hearing loss can find themselves removed from social interactions with others because they cannot hear what others are saying. Social isolation can leave hearing loss victims with emotional trauma and mental anguish. Those with severe hearing loss may be at increased risk for injury due to the inability to hear or comprehend verbal or auditory warnings, such as a car horn or a fire alarm. Just imagine the effect that hearing loss would have on an individual if that individual could no longer hear his/her spouse or listen to the laughter and voices of his/her children or grandchildren. Most people take for granted their ability to hear.
If you suffered hearing loss or other losses or injuries due to possible medical malpractice, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney regarding your potential medical malpractice claim.
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