Testicular Torsion – Medical Malpractice
Each year 1 in 4,000 males under the age of 25 will suffer testicular torsion. Testicular torsion is most common among male teenagers aged 12 through 16. The injury occurs when a testicle rotates and twists the spermatic cord that provides blood flow to the testicles. Once the cord is twisted, blood flow to the testicle is severely reduced, and sometimes stopped, which causes sudden pain and swelling. Boys that experience acute scrotal pain may have testicular torsion, and treatment usually requires emergency surgery.
Treatment of testicular torsion is extremely time-sensitive. Emergency medical treatment should be rendered as soon as symptoms present themselves. For instance, studies suggest that, when testicular torsion is treated within 6 hours of the onset of symptoms, there is a 95% success rate for surgery. However, if treatment is delayed until after 24 hours have passed, the success rate for treatment drops to only 20%. Delaying treatment can result in permanent damage to the testicle and potential loss of the ability to reproduce. If treatment is unsuccessful, the affected testicle will often need to be surgically removed!
McLaughlin & Lauricella – Top Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Testicular torsion is most frequently caused by physical activity, injury to the scrotum, cold temperatures, rapid growth of testes during puberty, and sleep. Medical studies have also shown that men who have inherited a gene allowing the testicles to freely rotate inside of the scrotum are predisposed to experiencing testicular torsion.
Similar to testicular torsion, epididymitis is a coiling of a tube inside of the scrotum which causes pain and swelling. However, epididymitis involves the coiling of a tube that carries sperm and is usually treated by a course of antibiotics. The symptomatic similarities of testicular torsion and epididymitis cause doctors to confuse the two. But it is important that the correct diagnosis is made because of the time sensitive nature for successful treatment of testicular torsion.
Under Pennsylvania law, physicians must provide medical treatment that meets the standard of care applicable to their specialty of practice.
In medical malpractice cases, if the patient was experiencing testicular torsion, physicians may be held liable for various acts or omissions, including:
- Failing to timely evaluate the patient;
- Failing to properly examine the patient’s scrotum;
- Failing to timely order an ultrasound or other diagnostic studies;
- Misdiagnosing the patient’s symptoms; and
- Failing to attempt to manually detorse the affected testicle.
In cases of prolonged interruption of blood flow to a patient’s testicles, injuries/damages to the patient may include:
- Atrophy of the testicle;
- Surgical removal of the testicle;
- Loss of fertility; and
- Embarrassment, anxiety, and mental anguish.
Medical malpractice cases, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are subject to a 2 year Statute of Limitations.
Two years may seem like a long time to initiate a medical malpractice action, but preparing to file a lawsuit often takes a good amount of time. Medical malpractice cases are complicated due to the need for review of medical records, the need for expert witness review of medical records and preparation of reports, and the scientific bases for the claim. In addition to naming the physician as a possible defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit, a medical malpractice lawyer must investigate all other possible defendants who could be held liable for the patient’s injuries, including: physician assistants, employer group, and the medical center or hospital.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced testicular torsion that resulted in damage to, or loss of, a testicle, contact a medical malpractice attorney in our Philadelphia or New Jersey offices for a consultation. Slade McLaughlin and Paul Lauricella have secured numerous million and multimillion dollar medical malpractice verdicts and settlements for their clients.
The medical malpractice attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. have experience litigating testicular torsion cases against physicians and hospitals. Contact McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. for a free and confidential consultation today.