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Doc's oversight costs Swedish man his testicle

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13:15 CET+01:00
A 50-year old man from the outskirts of Halmstad in western Sweden feels he's only half the man he used to be following a botched diagnosis by a head doctor, Hallands Nyheter reports.

The 50-year old was first diagnosed by a local physician who suspected the man's severe testicular pain was caused by testicular torsion, a condition whereby the testicle becomes twisted, cutting off the blood supply.

If not treated quickly through a simple surgical procedure, testicular torsion can lead to the death of the testicle.

Following the diagnosis, the 50-year old was sent to a urology clinic at the Halland County Hospital where a resident physician also suspected testicular torsion, but was overruled.

The head physician instead diagnosed the man as suffering from an inflamed epididymis, the tightly-coiled tube connecting the rear of the testicle to the vas deferens. The 50-year old was subsequently prescribed antibiotics and morphine, and sent home.

But the pain persisted and two days later the 50-year old was back at the hospital. He was eventually put under the knife, but it was too late to correct the problem. The testicle was damaged beyond repair, and had to be removed.

“Because of the head doctor's negligence, I have received a psychological and physical scar I'll carry with me for the rest of my life,” said the 50-year old.

He feels that he should have received an ultrasound examination early in the diagnosis, as is often common practice for testicular pain. However, the head doctor points out that an ultrasound does not always clarify the diagnosis.

Nevertheless, the doctor has received a reprimand from the National Medical Responsibility Board (HSAN), which stated that the doctor should not have ruled out testicular torsion and that the 50-year old should have been operated on right away.

According to the Board's ruling, the doctor's mistake was neither small or excusable.

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