A young man from Marseille came to the emergency room at Laveran Hospital for severe testicular pain in December 2009. Undiagnosed, the double twisting of the testicles led to definitive sterility. He has just received nearly 200,000 euros in compensation. The French discover that medical error has a price.
The Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence has just sentenced January 11 a doctor to pay 192,920 euros to one of his patients, a series of errors in diagnosis had led to the removal of his testicles.
He first visited the Laveran Hospital emergency room on December 7, 2009 for severe testicular pain and was sent home. Consultant the next day for the persistence of pain at the nearby medical home, an ultrasound revealed nothing.
Finally hospitalized on February 19th, 2009, the man had to be castrated for a torsion of the testicles having caused the necrosis of the testicles and the loss of their function.
Testicular torsion occurs without reason
The testicle is suspended in the pouches by a pedicle through which the efferent canal through which the spermatozoa and the nourishing blood vessels pass. Testicular torsion can occur suddenly without any particular triggering factor. The arteries that supply the oxygenated blood are then compressed and the testicle ischemic and necrotic. The testicle ensures the production of spermatozoa and male hormones.
The conclusion of this case comes the same week a woman attacks the gynecologist, who "forgot" five compresses and a glove in her vagina, after removal of the uterus. Stories of finger, arm or leg, removed by mistake, are also great classics of medical error stories.
The example of the United States
"Are you sure your doctor did not make a medical mistake? Let's tackle it together ... You do not know why? He knows it. "
This ugly macho joke of the '90s was hijacked by a law firm in the southern United States.
These specialized lawyers are paid only in case of success. A third of what the patient earns. This represents extremely important sums and remains - for the moment - forbidden in France.
This system is not without consequences, since anyone can start a trial, making fun of the cost of it, if the lawyer agrees to play the game. And there are many since what succeeds for a medical fact is easy to replicate to infinity ... It is this system that justifies advertising recruitment by those whom the profession calls "ambulance chasers", ambulance hunters. Nice nickname.
But doctors make a lot of mistakes
In England, the British Medical Journal looked in 2016 at estimating errors due to doctors. A figure not easy to obtain, but the conclusion is that about 200,000 patients would die from preventable medical causes. These figures take into account the thousands of deaths due to infections caught in the hospital, and where the fault is probably collective (too many antibiotics prescribed and consumed by men and animals, poor hygiene ...).
In France, there are no official figures. The one who runs for doctors is 20 to 30,000 deaths. But non-fatal errors, such as those that have just hit the headlines, are not properly recorded at the national level.
The complaints must however be numerous enough so that, a fast turn on the Internet will show you it, some firms now make appear ads paying on the web.
It must be said that some recent and famous lawsuits make you dizzy, by the amount of money obtained.
It is not up to us to judge, but if two testicles are worth 100,000 euros each, we can imagine the price of an arm or a leg, error of side by the surgeon at the moment of amputation, which can seem incredible, but has unfortunately already happened.