Underdiagnosed Infection Caused Stroke, Man Says
11-13-2013 16:38:00

     DECATUR, Ga. (CN) - Instead of running tests to identify the cause of bloody pus coming from a man’s ear, a Kaiser doctor diagnosed him with “swimmer’s ear,” and sent him home, where he had a stroke and seizure due to a serious widespread infection, the man claims in an eight-page lawsuit filed in the State Court of DeKalb County.
     Thomas Leachman sued Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company and Dr. Dawne Hood.
     According to his eight-page lawsuit, Leachman saw Dr. Hood on Oct. 27 2011 for “throbbing left ear pain,” redness and discharge. “Specifically, he complained of bloody discharge with pus coming out of his left ear,” it said.
     “As opposed to running tests to confirm the cause of the bloody discharge, Dr. Dawne Hood diagnosed Mr. Leachman with ‘swimmer’s ear’ and discharged him from her care,” the complaint says. However, it continues, his symptoms got worse over the next five hours, to include “headaches, and neck and shoulder pain,” culminating in a stroke and seizure.
     “When rescue workers arrived at Mr. Leachman’s home, he was slumped in a chair, unresponsive and completely unable to speak. Additionally, he was noted to be urinary incontinent and drooling on himself,” the complaint says.
     Leachman was taken by ambulance to (non-Kaiser) DeKalb Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with meningitis and sepsis, the complaint continues. The infection also had invaded his mastoid (a bony area inside the skull), which needed to be surgically removed, it says. Leachman continues to have tinnitus and diminished hearing in his left ear which
appears to be permanent, the complaint says.
     Plaintiff seeks damages for medical costs and general pain and suffering. He is represented by Jan P. Cohen and Matthew C. Richardson of Duluth.