Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

abdominal pain in 4y.o. daughter, misdiagnosed

Posted In: Medical Errors 5 Replies
  • Posted By: xfroglegzx
  • January 22, 2007
  • 04:49 PM

My daughter, who was 4 July 17th, 2006 woke up the morning of September 15th, 2006 with abdominal pain. When asked specifically to point with her finger where the pain was, she pointed all over her stomach. Other than the abdominal pain she was fine. No cold symptoms, no fever, nausea. As a matter of fact, she still had a appetite. I called the doctor that day, and made an appointment for 2:40 in the afternoon. We went in to see the doctor and he asked all the normal questions about her symptoms, felt her abdomen by pressing with his fingers, he then told us that he thought it was just the flu and to give tylenol and motrin and lots of rest. I argued that I had the flu before, and she had had the flu before and so had members of my family and never had the only symptom of the flu been non localized all over the abdomen, horrible pain that causes her to double over and ball up into the floor. He disagreed and said she would be fine.
That evening when her pain worsened and she still didn't have any other symptoms aside from being very tired, which we all know pain wears you out, I took her to the emergency room. The emergency room doc that night was awesome. We'll call him Dr. S. Well, Dr. S examined her and noted that her blood pressure was higher than is normal for her, and felt all along her abdomen also. He believed that she was in a lot of pain, but couldn't figure out quite what was causing it. He said it could be appendicitis, but she didn't have a lot of the symptoms, the way to test for that is through CT scan, but he didn't want to expose her to radiation if he didn't have to, but that he wanted to test her urine for a kidney, uti, or bladder infection and that he was going to send us home, but if she was to come down with a fever, worse pain, or she started throwing up he wanted us to come back to the emergency room. Well, we went home and went to bed, and the next day we are back in the emergency room again because she is still in pain, but she now has a fever and is throwing up. This time Dr. S is not on duty. We now have a different doc to deal with. After the doctor spent around 30 minutes with my daughter examining her, he told me that he didn't think she was in pain and that she probably just had the flu. I told him he was wrong and that I know when my daughter is in pain and that she is in more pain than she has ever been in , in her entire life. He disagreed, but brought in a nurse. He had this nurse look at her and talk to her a bit, and the nurse also agreed that she didn't think my daughter was in any pain. I once again, vehemently disagreed with them. I told them they were dead wrong, that she has hardly ever been sick in her entire life and that she has something wrong with her and they didn't know her and therefore can't tell whether or not she is in pain, and I could, because I'm her mom and I know, and I asked them if they would like to talk to my husband because he could also vouch for the fact that she is definetly in pain. Well, the doctor and the nurse excused themselves from the room and went away. About 15 minutes later, Dr. S from the previous night walks by the room, and he says, "Hey! What are you guys doing back here again?" I explain to him all that is going on and how the doctor on shift doesn't believe that she is pain, and he says, "I'll be right back." He comes back and he has taken over our case and he immediately says that he would like to do an MRI on our daughter and explains how she will have to drink "contrast" fluid and all that. Fast forward to five hours later: Dr. S comes in and tells us that the MRI results are back and that they have located a tumor in my daughter's belly and that there is some internal bleeding, and a partially collapsed right lung which is what is causing the pain. By the end of this day we are told that are daughter has a cancer called "Wilm's tumor" and that she would have to have her right kidney and the tumor removed. (The tumor was a little bit bigger than a baseball and connected to her right kidney.) She has started and completed radiation treatment, and has three more chemotherapy sessions to go.
Just goes to show that as a parent you should never second guess your own judgement. Had we waited much longer that quick growing tumor could have spread to her heart, liver, lungs, or god only knows where else. Just because they are doctor's they are not always right.
But, I can't lie, I'm still very angry at the first doctor for diagnosing internal bleeding as the flu, and the second doctor for telling me that my 4 year old wasn't in any pain and that she was faking. Thank god for Dr.s like Dr S and for her wonderful Pediactric Oncology doctors who have saved her life.

Tanya Clark

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5 Replies:

  • Congrats to you for being the mom we are all supposed to be! I agree with you completly that especially when it comes to our children we are the "doctors" who know when something isn't right. I'm glad you took a stand and Thank God you had a happy ending!:)
    miserableMOE 52 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 05:39 PM
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  • thats SICK that er people were saying she WASNT IN PAIN....as if someone would make that up!!! it makes me so mad at them!!
    dudbubbin1 37 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 08:39 PM
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  • That is great they found out what is wrong with her. How dare the doctor tell you that she wasn't in pain? I think they say that because they don't know what is wrong. But I think she had a CT (CAT SCAN) not an MRI. MRI has no radiation exposure because it uses magnetic force. (Magnetic Renosance Imaging.) You drink barium for a CT.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 26, 2007
    • 08:01 PM
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  • You are right, I did mean CT scan, I'll go and fix that now, lol.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 03:52 PM
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  • Okay, know how I went to the first doctor and he told me it was the flu? Well, I went to the same doctor just recently for my son, who is having pain in his right side, at the bottom of his ribs, and that doctor diagnosed it as Acid Reflux. OMG, what a idiot! I looked at him, and I was like "so, when do I come back when the zantac doesn't work?" He's like "oh, it will work", and I said no, it really won't because that isn't what he has. Sure enough, we are going through tons of testing and whatnot because the new set of doctors that are seeing him have no clue what is wrong with him.Tanya
    xfroglegzx 2 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 03:56 PM
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