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Misdiagnosed woman had cerebrospinal fluid leak

Imagine having a permanent case of rhinitis, i.e., a runny nose, for two years. Tired of life tethered to a tissue box, you go to the doctor, who tells you that it's allergies.

But your sniffles continue unabated and don't respond to any allergy treatment protocols. Eventually, the severity of your symptoms cause you to seek another medical opinion. But the physician's assistant assigned to you has a hunch that something more might be at play with your condition than just a runny nose from allergies. You learn that you have been constantly leaking cerebrospinal fluid from a hole in your skull after you got into a car accident.

That's the situation one woman in another state faced recently. Fortunately her misdiagnosis didn't lead to death and surgeons were able to repair the hole with tissues from the woman's own abdomen and nose.

Her problems began when she suffered head and facial injuries after being rear-ended in a car accident. Shortly thereafter, she developed headaches and a constantly running nose. Doctors estimate that she lost as much as a half-liter of fluid daily from her nose.

For two years, none of the doctors from which she sought treatment tied together the two events — car accident and runny nose. The physician's assistant at Nebraska Medicine who linked the the accident with her condition told a media outlet that it was important for patients to be persistent in cases where diagnoses remain elusive.

She stated, "Find a doctor that you can have a good relationship with, and never be afraid to get a second opinion. We won't be offended."

Were you misdiagnosed by a doctor? You may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

Source: TIME, "A Nebraska Woman Thought She Had a Runny Nose. It Was Actually Fluid Leaking From Her Brain," Jamie Ducharme, May 09, 2018

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