Of many brain injury cases handled by Mr. Caputo, two such tragic situations involved the failure to diagnose cysts-fluid- or gel-filled sacs whose cells are not malignant but benign-in or compressing the brain.
In one such case, John Doe was a former Army Ranger in his 30s who had developed a cyst in the third ventricle compartment of his brain, which blocked the natural flow of fluid. He visited the office of his PCP on numerous occasions reporting worrisome symptoms only to be managed by a physician's assistant who did not order a CT scan on an urgent basis. When the symptoms became severe, he went to the hospital. There, a cyst was found by CT scan, he was admitted, and a neurosurgeon was called. He needed a simple drain placed in his skull that could have been done at bedside, but the neurosurgeon never came to the hospital. During that night, John's brain herniated before he could have surgery to remove the cyst. He was left with severe impairments that changed his life and that of his family.
In another tragic case, a teenager had a cyst that caused her eyesight to diminish as the result of compression of her optic nerve. An optometrist failed to recognize that she needed an exam by an ophthalmologist and provided long term eye muscle therapy with charts. As her eyesight diminished, he did not respond until it was too late. But another medical provider could have diagnosed the problem much earlier. Because of headaches, Jane was sent for a CT scan at the office of a neurologist. The CT scan showed a small abnormality suggesting calcification consistent with a tumor that was the cyst at an early stage and before there was any injury to the optic nerves. That practitioner failed to detect and follow the abnormality which the expert engaged by Mr. Caputo said was clearly apparent. Regrettably, Jane lost sight in one eye and peripheral vision in the other.
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