Our medical expert recently got retained in a criminal case where the victim suffered an injury to her nose. She had a reported history of previous nasal trauma but was diagnosed with a nasal fracture by x-ray in the emergency department. Our expert testified that a diagnosis of nasal fracture made by x-ray has a high false positive rate and cited literature to support his opinion. He also testified that there was no evidence of deformity or bruising in the photos taken two days later and that the victim didn’t use the pain prescriptions that were given to her. His opinion was that, if a nasal fracture existed at all, it was not recent. The client was acquitted of all charges.
In a civil medical malpractice case, the mismanagement of a nasal fracture can lead to long term cosmetic or physical health issues. Surgical intervention to reduce the fracture may be necessary but first it is important to rule out associated injuries and complications such as orbital blowout fractures, septal hematomas, and duct injuries.
If a fracture is confirmed, the case development should then focus on the necessary treatment. Many, if not most, fractures require no treatment at all and generate no long term effects or complications. If this is the case, does the fracture still constitute GBI or are the damages significant enough to warrant restitution? Expert testimony in this area may be beneficial as well.
For our newsletter and blog this month we are discussing nasal fractures. The blog topics for this month are:
- What is a nasal fracture, really? (5/1/15)
- Does the patient in your case have a nasal fracture? (5/8/15)
- Nasal Fractures: What does the literature say? (5/15/15)
- Legal Implications (5/22/15)
Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here