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Case Study: delay in diagnosing testicular torsion
JMW was able to win a compensation claim after a diagnosis error resulted in a man having to have one of his testicles removed.
Brendan, 23, lost a testicle after hospital doctors failed to send him for an ultrasound, meaning the testicular torsion he was suffering from went undiagnosed. After Brendan’s case was taken on by the medical negligence experts at JMW, Brendan was awarded £15,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering he endured.
Sent home from A&E
Brendan’s ordeal started when he awoke one Tuesday morning and noticed a pain in his left testicle. Brendan initially thought it was just an ache that would go away, but when he went to the toilet he noticed that the testicle was very swollen and had almost doubled in size. Brendan was very worried and took himself off to A&E as soon as he could.
After he was examined by doctors he was diagnosed with an infection at the back of the testicle and sent home with antibiotics. However, given his alarming symptoms, the possibility that he was suffering from a testicular torsion should have been considered. This painful and worrying condition occurs when one of the tubes in the testicle becomes twisted, resulting in the blood supply to the testicle being cut off.
Brendan should have been referred urgently to specialists in the urology department and an ultrasound scan of his testicles undertaken.
Further pain and testicle removal
Instead Brendan returned home with his antibiotics and his testicle remained very sore and continued to be all of the following day. By Thursday Brendan was still in agony and he noticed that his penis was also swollen. He took himself back to A&E, whereupon a different doctor arranged for him to undergo an ultrasound.
The scan identified that he was most likely suffering from a testicular torsion and surgery was arranged for the next day. However, during the surgery it came to light that due to the blood supply being cut off to the testicle for several days part of it had become gangrenous, so it had to be removed during the operation.
Brendan was left with long-term issues such as reduced body confidence and problems with relationships with partners; he could also potentially experience reduced fertility, causing issues if he wishes to start a family. If the A&E doctors who initially saw Brendan had considered the possibility of a testicular torsion as they ought to have done and had sent him for appropriate investigations he would have been diagnosed and treated much sooner, and his testicle would have been saved.
After Brendan was put in touch with the medical negligence experts at JMW, he was assigned a specialist solicitor who helped him to challenge this poor care on a no win, no fee basis. The case was successful and Brendan was awarded £15,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering he endured at the hands of the hospital.