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Discussion Starter #3
I can't imagine them not looking for it, obviously that side of the story is not presented.
 

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But you've got to wonder, in view of they accident if they're not looking at his c-spine (or his whole spine for that matter) just what are they looking at. Pretty embarassing for the US.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Exactly. I can't imagine them not throwing the book at him, or anybody else in an MVA for that matter. Now I think it is possible for him to have had an incomplete fracture that separated at a later date but that in itself is highly unlikely as well. As the saying goes, three sides to every story, his, hers and the real thing.
 

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As I understand it, sometimes fractures don't show up immediately after an incident and can show up several days later. I'm sure the doctors weren't negligent in their diagnosis at that time. We don't know the full story.

Maybe Cale can enlighten us...he's a Doc right?
 

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The part that concerns me, other than the obvious part about missing the fractures, is the part about seeking legal action. Up until now, I know of no physician who has been hired by the sanctioning body that has been sued. With the legal climate of the U.S. spreading to Europe, this could spell deep trouble for medical care in motorsports. Already, Canadian doctors are not covered for motorsports events from the state provided malpractice insurance, and most U.S. physicians will be excluded from their own policies if they work with professional athletes and in particular motorsports. I will bet there will be a strong push from Bernie et al for Ralph not to pursue legal action because it would set a dangerous precedent. With the driver's multimillion dollar salaries and other deals, a suit against a physician could destroy a sanctioning bodies ability to procure insurance for subsequent events, and in turn shut down motorsports. F1 and a lot of U.S. series are very concerned that a fan injury could drive them to this legal crisis.

As for missing the fractures, there are some fractures of the lower vertebral bones that are not about to cause paraplegia, and these are more common in motorsports injuries in my experience. The lay person, of which I include Ralph, hears spinal fracture and thinks spinal cord injury. It is unlikely the doctors at Methodist would have missed an unstable fracture which could have led to paralysis. The more likely scenario would have been that they took x-rays, saw nothing acute, and gave him the option to lie in an MRI for over an hour, or go home and if he continues to have pain, get an MRI or bone scan in Germany, which he probably did after his own delay. They probably found 3 stable fractures, and the press has a field day. Not all fractures show up immediately on plain x-rays.

Please be aware that the malpractice climate that lives in the U.S. has the potential to kill motorsports as we know it. As the Medical Director for IMSA, this gives me concern for my familiy's financial future as well. Being sued as a physician just because you were there has become all too common. I wont go there. I know some of those guys at Methodist. There are pioneers in motorsports safety there, and a lot of drivers have them to thank for limbs and necks and other body parts staying intact during a crash, and for fixing them after a crash. But lawyers need to make money too, at the expense of common sense.
 

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You can sue anyone for anything, so Ralph needs to go ahead and do it or STFU- one or the other. He would need to prove that the US doctors negligence impacted his ability to earn in the future or near term. The doctors did not cause the fractures, they simply did not see them. Since the injury was caught later, he won't have much of a case for this "woulda, coulda, shoulda" scenario IMO.

edit- put another way, I don't think you can successfully sue someone for something that "could have" happened due to the doctors incompetence/negligence.
 

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Cale said:
The part that concerns me, other than the obvious part about missing the fractures, is the part about seeking legal action. Up until now, I know of no physician who has been hired by the sanctioning body that has been sued. With the legal climate of the U.S. spreading to Europe, this could spell deep trouble for medical care in motorsports. Already, Canadian doctors are not covered for motorsports events from the state provided malpractice insurance, and most U.S. physicians will be excluded from their own policies if they work with professional athletes and in particular motorsports. I will bet there will be a strong push from Bernie et al for Ralph not to pursue legal action because it would set a dangerous precedent. With the driver's multimillion dollar salaries and other deals, a suit against a physician could destroy a sanctioning bodies ability to procure insurance for subsequent events, and in turn shut down motorsports. F1 and a lot of U.S. series are very concerned that a fan injury could drive them to this legal crisis.

As for missing the fractures, there are some fractures of the lower vertebral bones that are not about to cause paraplegia, and these are more common in motorsports injuries in my experience. The lay person, of which I include Ralph, hears spinal fracture and thinks spinal cord injury. It is unlikely the doctors at Methodist would have missed an unstable fracture which could have led to paralysis. The more likely scenario would have been that they took x-rays, saw nothing acute, and gave him the option to lie in an MRI for over an hour, or go home and if he continues to have pain, get an MRI or bone scan in Germany, which he probably did after his own delay. They probably found 3 stable fractures, and the press has a field day. Not all fractures show up immediately on plain x-rays.

Please be aware that the malpractice climate that lives in the U.S. has the potential to kill motorsports as we know it. As the Medical Director for IMSA, this gives me concern for my familiy's financial future as well. Being sued as a physician just because you were there has become all too common. I wont go there. I know some of those guys at Methodist. There are pioneers in motorsports safety there, and a lot of drivers have them to thank for limbs and necks and other body parts staying intact during a crash, and for fixing them after a crash. But lawyers need to make money too, at the expense of common sense.
Thanks for shedding some light on this, Cale. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it pans out.
 
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