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Missed brain injury diagnosis leaves boxer bedridden

Professional athletes are at risk for injuries on a regular basis. The sports they play in Massachusetts stadiums or elsewhere usually involve physical contact or pushing themselves to the limit. Doctors are typically on-site to care for the athletes, though failure to make an accurate diagnosis can sideline a player. Boxing is especially hazardous, as the intent of the sport is to harm the other person. For one Russian heavyweight, a medical mistake means that his life will never be the same.

On Nov. 2, the 32-year-old boxer had a fight in Madison Square Garden. Afterward, he reportedly told doctors that his head hurt. The physicians proceeded with a neurological test and advised him to have his injuries – which included a broken nose – examined within a few days of returning home. Fortunately, later that evening a state athletic commission inspector noticed blood in the fighter’s urine sample and alerted his handlers to head to the hospital.

Blood in the urine can indicate internal bleeding, and it was later discovered that the boxer’s brain had started bleeding. He had undergo emergency brain surgery to remove a clot and was in a coma for weeks. The boxer may not ever be able to walk or talk again.

His family has announced that they plan to file a $100 million lawsuit due to doctor negligence and medical malpractice. Anytime a physician makes an error that causes an individual to fall into a worsened condition, that individual may seek compensation for damages. Victims of medical malpractice should consult an attorney who can help put together a strong case.

Source: ABC News, “Injured boxer’s family plans lawsuit,” William Weinbaum and John Barr, Feb. 21, 2014

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