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I am sooooo pissed off and my anxiety is out of control right now. Yesterday I went to my gastro. Last time I was to see her was roughly around Feb. 2000, she had asked me if I had had any other tests done since last time I saw her and I said yes. *In July, 2000 I was a walk-in patient at my family doctor's office. I didn't see my regular doctor because he was not there, so I saw one of his associates. The other doctor (associate) order an upper gi at an area hospital. So I went to the hospital to get the test done. I make sure that the hospital has both doctors names on my forms so my regular doctor would get the forms. So I waited a couple weeks, with no phone call. So I call them (they make you leave a message on the answering machine for test results and they say they will get back). No response. So I call again an leave another message. No response. I call an actually talk to a secretary or whatever they call themselves and she tells me that they will get back with me if it is abnormal. No response.So I go back to my family doctor this past monday (Oct. 2000)when I got my new insurance, and he doesn't mention anything about the upper gi test results.*Well getting back to my gastro, she had the test results faxed to her office and asks me if I knew that the test result were abnormal for my small intestine. And she orders a small bowels series for next week. I couldn't believe it, why wouldn't my family doctors office call me or send me a letter or my doctor mention it?Is the medical malpractice?When I get this retested and if it is abnormal again, do I have grounds to sue my family doctors office?Should I contact an attorney?ANY ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED[This message has been edited by throatburn (edited 10-12-2000).][This message has been edited by throatburn (edited 10-12-2000).]
 

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Hi, Let me tell you,your not alone,last year i had bad pain in my upper right,under my ribs,upper GI was normal,however,they also did bloodwork,and i never heard anything,and thought it was fine,WRONG! i found out 2 months ago,my liver blood test was not normal,i found this out because i had the pain again,and they redid the bloodwork,AGAIN! then when they looked up the old test,he asked me was i told of the high count from last year! so this is how i got even,i went to the office on a monday night,knowing it would be jammed with people,and went by the window,got read loud and asked for my chart because if they can't tell me my liver test was abnormal,how can i trust them to mail my chart to my new dr. i demended the chart,meanwhile,everyone is looking and listening to me,a older lady says "he is always in a hurry,i don't like that" now i've got people talking to each other,i got my chart and turned around and said" you've got one life,don't trust it to this guy" and left! I also want to tell you,calm down,the anxiety will make you worse,i know,i did it to myself,on a good note,my new liver tests were normal.I also had a small bowel series,lay on the table,drink,pictures,drink,more pictures,etc. then they pushed down on my intestines with a paddle to move them around and took more pictures. I hope and i'm sure everything will be fine
Better days are ahead,Krissy
 

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The same thing happened to me with an abnormal pap smear. I thought it was fine because I hadn't heard otherwise, but then like five months later I get a frantic call at work from the nurse telling me it was abnormal and no one had been able to reach me and I needed to come in for another test right away. In that time, I had not changed jobs or moved, and I had an answering machine, so how could they have not found me? Obviously they didn't even try!But that's better than my mom, who was once called by the doctor's office and told she had cirrosis of the liver with about six months to live, then called two weeks later and told that her blood tests were mixed up with someone else's, and that she was normal. I can't believe she refused to sue those bast***s.I don't know about contacting an attorney, hopefully someone here will have some advice for you. You could always try one with a free initial phone consulation and ask if this constitutes mental anquish or something.[This message has been edited by Mannie (edited 10-12-2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for replying.I hope a ton of people reply and let me know what they think.My main concern is getting retested and hopefully everything will be normal and I can forget about everything.
 
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Thaks for posting this. I don't have any advice for you but it got me thinking. about 8 months ago I had some stool samples taken for colon testing because I was seeing blood in my stool. I never heard anything about it so I assumed it was fine. I guess I had better call and check.Kamiann
 

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First of all, I think that's aweful. Honestly, I have heard so many of these stories, I don't understand why so often doctor's have to be hounded for answers. having said that, though, my advice to you would be to forget suing. I think maybe my opinion's not a very popular one, but instead of automatically figuring out how to make that rediculous doctor's office pay for their mistake, I'd ceoncentrate on just relaxing and trying to get better, like you said. Not that I have a lot of experience with lawsuits, but they are not exactly stress-free, and I think pursuing this may just take a toll on your health, mental and physical. This is more important than making someone pay for a mistake.It doesn't seem fair that an office should be able to get away with that, especially when it could be crucial to your health, but even so, I'd avoid a lawsuit and concentrate on getting better.Good luck,lyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is correct.NO ONE should ever just believe that their test is normal just because the doctor's office doesn't get a hold of you.I have had so many negative tests, sometimes you think that they are going to always keep coming back negative. If my tests come back normal after getting tested again, I won't even think about a lawsuit. I hate people that are sue happy.But if there is something wrong, 3 months can make a big difference in treatment, depending on the problem. Also, my insurance will consider it a prexisting condition because I got my insurance at the end of Aug. 2000.I have already claimed bankruptcy once, because I couldn't pay all of my medical bills(because I didn't have insurance, and they had to do so many tests before they came to the conclusion of IBS).
 

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HI THROATBURN>Not a good forum to assess "tort" or "tort law". However, at best its sloppy recordkeeping and sloppy patient care. At worst no one can say, until it may be seen that some harm has come to you as a result. Get more details from the GI doc than "abnormal small bowel"....??? Abnormal could mean anything, many of the anythings being benign. So just get all the info you can as this evolves. Have everthing explained in detail. Get hard copies of your test results. You are entitled to have a copy of your medical record. Don't act "litigious" around the office staff or docs. Just ask detailed questions and ask for written (printed) info regarding all tests and diagnosis. Wait and see.Let us know but I would not worry too much just yet.Have a STRESS free day!MNL____________________ www.leapallergy.com
 

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Good point Mike, I have all my films,and they are compared when i get a test redone for any reason,and i have them to show new doctors.I didn't know i could get them until someone told me about a year ago. I did go off in that office,but i really just wanted my records so i could take it to a new dr. and continue my treatment. Better Days Are Coming,Krissy
 
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First of all, you need to find out what the abnormality is and whether not finding out about it when you should have caused it to get worse or changed the course of treatment. If not, although you have every right to be angry, you don't have grounds to sue. There needs to be damages in order to sue. If the delay worsened the problem or, for instance, you now require surgery where you wouldn't have before, you definitely should contact an attorney. For you health's sake, I hope it didn't have an effect. Even if that's the case, you should write a personal letter to the doctor telling him all the times you tried to get an answer and that no one called you back. He probably doesn't even know and he should. It's possible heads will roll in his office because he certainly wants to avoid lawsuits. Don't get crazy if you do that, just state the facts. He'll pay more attention.
 
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Dear Throatburn,I'm sorry hear that you had this happen to you! I am also sorry to say that I work at a teaching hospital/outpatient clinics. I wish I had a penny for each time I have heard this. I think there are a lot of contributing factors here. And you'll probably never find out the real cause. I'd forget suing. But I would go to the place that you had the test done and get the DIRECTOR of that area to speak with you. I would also send a letter to your MD who received the fax (by the way, this could be a violation of patient confidentiality laws if you didn't okay the results to be sent by fax)stating your case. Send a carbon copy to the Chief of GI and administrator of your medical group. Then comes the most important bit of advice I can give anyone. The Director of Medical Records once told me NEVER NEVER accept the old "we'll call you if anything is ABNORMAL". This gives you a false sense of security. 3 weeks after any test, if you have not heard anything, request a copy of the results for your own medical records at home. This is the best practice/advice I can give anyone dealing with todays healthcare providers.
 
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I had this happen regarding a stool test taken in December. The old line "we'll call you if it is abnormal." Well didn't hear from them so I figued it was ok. Seven months later went in regarding a recurrence of problem and the doc mentions a stomach infection I had in December. What stomach infection? GEEEEZ.BTW does anyone know if you can get "for free" a copy of your test results here in Canada?
 

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Too much of this sort of thing happens! Some doctors should stop worrying about their pocketbooks so much and instead spend a bit more time on the care of their patients! (A refreshing aside for everyone: My "old-fashioned" GI doc personally calls you with the test results; as a matter of fact, I'm waiting for a call right now. Amazing!)I'm sorry that happened to you. Meanwhile, as others have said, I'd just take care of myself and not think about suing til, possibly, if needed, later. I agree about at least writing a good letter to the doctor, though. It could be, at some point, you may also want to write a letter to your state insurance board; that works pretty well where I live! Plus, there are additional ways to lodge complaints.Please let us know more about your health...we wish you well!
 

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Hi: I am not surprised that your doctor's office failed to inform you of "abnormal" results; I have been involved in defense of hosptials and physicians and now work for a plaintiff attorney in personal injury; I was a Risk manager in a major hospital for 10 years and I have seen it all. NEVER EVER WAIT FOR A PHYSICIAN's OFFICE TO CALL YOU;CALL BACK IN A WEEK AFTER YOU HAVE HAD THE TEST AND KEEP BUGGING THEM (IN A NICE WAY) TO FIND OUT THE RESULTS; MANY TRAGEDIES HAVE OCCURRED BECAUSE PATIENTS ASSUME THEIR PHYSICIANS WILL GET BACK TO THEM WITH TEST RESULTS. ADDTIONALLY, ALWAYS FIND OUT WHAT THE TEST SHOWED IF IT IS "ABNORMAL"-YOU NEED TO ASK WHAT IS ABNORMAL. IN MALPRACTICE CASES THERE ARE TWO ISSUES ; ONE IS NEGLIGENCE AND THE OTHER IS DAMAGES. THERE MAY BE NEGLIGENCE BUT NO DAMAGES IN THE SENSE THAT YOU WEREN'T MADE WORSE BY THE NEGLIGENCE. THERE MAY BE DAMAGES BUT NO NEGLIGENCE AS IN THERE ARE BAD OUTCOMES AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING WRONG. HEALTHCARE TODAY IS GETTING SCARY; HOSPITALS ARE BEING CUT TO THE BONE; SHORT STAFFING AND ANGRY NURSES. YOU MUST BE ON TOP OF THE SITUATION AT ALL TIMES AND ALWAYS ALWAYS BE NICE AND NOT THREATENING WHEN YOU DEAL WITH THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT. HOPE YOUR TEST IS NOTHING TOO SERIOUS---TAKE CARE
 
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