If she were your mother, what would you do?

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Incredible as it may seem, my 93-year-old mother, who was transported to McMaster ER on June 26 about 2:30 p. m. because of severe lower back pain and the loss of mobility, was simply sent home after midnight by the doctor who examined her.

The reasoning behind his decision was the test he ordered showed a spinal compression fracture of a thoracic vertebra (T11), which he concluded was the cause of this sudden onslaught of intense pain. He ignored the fact, which I tried to point out to him, that that fracture was caused by a fall 14 years ago. Her current symptoms of intense pain in her lower back and nearly complete loss of strength in her legs ought to have led the doctor to consider that the problem might be in the lumbar region, and to scrutinize that area intensively, but he did not do so.

Subsequent x-rays have shown a new spinal vertebra collapse in the lumbar region (L3), resulting from osteoporosis, as the cause of her suffering, which was seriously misdiagnosed by the ER doctor.

After I made a complaint through Patient Relations, the chief doctor of the ER called me. He told me that he would have done the same thing as the ER doctor did.

I would like to ask these two doctors:

• Do you really think that the 14-year-old fracture at T11 could cause so serious lower back pain and the loss of the strength of the leg muscles? If your answer is “no,” why didn’t you do more tests to find the real problem?

• If she were your mother, would you send her home at midnight and let her suffer such severe pain, instead of finding the real problem?

My mother deserves better treatment, so does everyone’s mother. As serious as the misdiagnosis was, the lack of compassion shown for her suffering by both doctors is even worse. Shouldn’t they have shown her and all their patients the same compassion they would expect for their own family members?

Kate Zhao, Ancaster

If she were your mother, what would you do?

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Incredible as it may seem, my 93-year-old mother, who was transported to McMaster ER on June 26 about 2:30 p. m. because of severe lower back pain and the loss of mobility, was simply sent home after midnight by the doctor who examined her.

The reasoning behind his decision was the test he ordered showed a spinal compression fracture of a thoracic vertebra (T11), which he concluded was the cause of this sudden onslaught of intense pain. He ignored the fact, which I tried to point out to him, that that fracture was caused by a fall 14 years ago. Her current symptoms of intense pain in her lower back and nearly complete loss of strength in her legs ought to have led the doctor to consider that the problem might be in the lumbar region, and to scrutinize that area intensively, but he did not do so.

Subsequent x-rays have shown a new spinal vertebra collapse in the lumbar region (L3), resulting from osteoporosis, as the cause of her suffering, which was seriously misdiagnosed by the ER doctor.

After I made a complaint through Patient Relations, the chief doctor of the ER called me. He told me that he would have done the same thing as the ER doctor did.

I would like to ask these two doctors:

• Do you really think that the 14-year-old fracture at T11 could cause so serious lower back pain and the loss of the strength of the leg muscles? If your answer is “no,” why didn’t you do more tests to find the real problem?

• If she were your mother, would you send her home at midnight and let her suffer such severe pain, instead of finding the real problem?

My mother deserves better treatment, so does everyone’s mother. As serious as the misdiagnosis was, the lack of compassion shown for her suffering by both doctors is even worse. Shouldn’t they have shown her and all their patients the same compassion they would expect for their own family members?

Kate Zhao, Ancaster

If she were your mother, what would you do?

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Incredible as it may seem, my 93-year-old mother, who was transported to McMaster ER on June 26 about 2:30 p. m. because of severe lower back pain and the loss of mobility, was simply sent home after midnight by the doctor who examined her.

The reasoning behind his decision was the test he ordered showed a spinal compression fracture of a thoracic vertebra (T11), which he concluded was the cause of this sudden onslaught of intense pain. He ignored the fact, which I tried to point out to him, that that fracture was caused by a fall 14 years ago. Her current symptoms of intense pain in her lower back and nearly complete loss of strength in her legs ought to have led the doctor to consider that the problem might be in the lumbar region, and to scrutinize that area intensively, but he did not do so.

Subsequent x-rays have shown a new spinal vertebra collapse in the lumbar region (L3), resulting from osteoporosis, as the cause of her suffering, which was seriously misdiagnosed by the ER doctor.

After I made a complaint through Patient Relations, the chief doctor of the ER called me. He told me that he would have done the same thing as the ER doctor did.

I would like to ask these two doctors:

• Do you really think that the 14-year-old fracture at T11 could cause so serious lower back pain and the loss of the strength of the leg muscles? If your answer is “no,” why didn’t you do more tests to find the real problem?

• If she were your mother, would you send her home at midnight and let her suffer such severe pain, instead of finding the real problem?

My mother deserves better treatment, so does everyone’s mother. As serious as the misdiagnosis was, the lack of compassion shown for her suffering by both doctors is even worse. Shouldn’t they have shown her and all their patients the same compassion they would expect for their own family members?

Kate Zhao, Ancaster