Brain Hemorrhage Misdiagnosis Results in $4M Malpractice Award

A Colorado woman has been awarded $3.9 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought after she was paralyzed as a result of a misdiagnosed brain hemorrhage.

According to the complaint originally filed in 2008, Krissy Myatt suffered a stroke in 2006, after Dr. Jeffrey Updegraff failed to properly diagnose her condition and told her she was suffering from a migraine.

When Myatt went to see Dr. Updegraff at Poudre Valley Hospital’s emergency room, she complained of a painful headache, extremely high blood pressure and had been undergoing therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS). The MS treatments included steroids that could increase blood pressure, which can cause strokes.

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Dr. Updegraff gave Myatt medication for the pain and released her, according to allegations raised in the complaint. When she woke the next morning she was paralyzed and unable to speak.

As a result of the stroke, Myatt was in a wheelchair for a month before she was able to walk again. Since then, she has learned to talk again and is working on motor control skills, but she continues to suffer paralysis to her entire right side. She was right-handed.

Following trial last fall, a Colorado jury found that Dr. Updegraff was negligent, but cleared the hospital of liability, because emergency room doctors are not direct employees. According to a report by The Coloradoan, the verdict recently came through after a request for new trial was denied by the Court.

Before the stroke, Myatt was very active. She had two children and liked skiing and snowboarding. Now she says her two boys, one a teenager and the other soon to be one, have to help her move around physically in some cases. But she is still attempting to relearn to ski despite her paralysis and is able to drive a three-wheeled bicycle.


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