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Was wife of California actor a victim of medical malpractice?

A trip to the emergency room is an anxiety-filled time, and one hopes that the medical issue involved will be resolved by the team of doctors and nurses met there. Unfortunately, ERs are busy places, attending physicians are often generalists and sometimes  a patient is misdiagnosed. This typically constitutes grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Recently, Anne Wheaton, wife of California actor Wil Wheaton (of "Star Wars: The Next Generation," "Stand By Me" and "The Big Bang Theory" fame), ran into a misdiagnosis issue in an ER, and she is telling her story to raise awareness and help keep it from happening to other women like her. 

In early June, Anne experienced pain in her right side, pelvis and torso. She visited an emergency room where the physician diagnosed her with a kidney stone. She was given medication and was sent home to pass the stone. Days later, she was still experiencing extreme pain. Much later, she was diagnosed with ovarian torsion, a twisting of the ovary, after the ovary had died and had to be removed. 

Experts have pointed out that sometimes women are treated differently in the ER. Their claims of pain are not taken as seriously, and their problems are overlooked. Some studies indicate that patients seen by female physicians have greater survival rates. One other study showed that one in 20 patients in the ER walk away with an incorrect diagnosis, no matter their sex.

Anne stresses the importance of having an advocate during the health care process. She feels that had someone been there to encourage the physicians to take a better look at the scans, she may have been treated sooner. Other patients in California may be experiencing the same problems with medical malpractice and misdiagnosis. A lawyer can also advocate for the best interests of patients by helping to file claims against physicians who misdiagnose due to medical negligence. 

Source: Today, "Anne Wheaton: ER doctors misdiagnosed my twisted ovary", Randee Dawn, June 28, 2017

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