Here’s an interesting case. A Portland couple is suing a hospital,
clinic, doctor, and nurse practitioner for not diagnosing Duchenne muscular
dystrophy in their second son. The couple had a third son who also has
Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The couple says if their second son had been
diagnosed earlier, that is, before they had their third son, they may
have decided NOT to have the third child. This is because Duchenne muscular
dystrophy, which is due to a genetic defect, is not curable and is often fatal.
Let’s take a look at the timeline. The couple’s second son
was born in 2003 and the third in 2008. The second son had some developmental
issues from infancy but wasn’t diagnosed with Duchenne muscular
dystrophy until 2010. The disease is usually diagnosed by age 5 and affects
only boys. It is relatively rare, though, and afflicts about one in 3.000
boys. Diagnosis is done with a muscle biopsy or a blood test and is not
complex, but most doctors wouldn’t think to test for it unless they
made a connection between the symptoms and the disease. Symptoms include
frequent falling, difficulty ascending stairs, delays in walking, and
large calf muscles.
The Portland couple, Kerry and Scott Tomlinson, blame their medical providers
for failing to recognize the symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in
their second son and thus failing to properly test him and diagnose him.
They are seeking a total of just over $23 million.
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