I was invited to write an article about potential medical malpractice situations in Urology. I thought about several areas of urology and what the common denominators were. The two I see most frequently are … failure to diagnose and/or treat appropriately and failure of communication in an understandable and comprehensive manner with the patient and designated second (if appropriate). I have chosen to discuss the failure to diagnose, evaluate and treat hematuria (blood in urine) in an appropriate manner.
Hematuria may occur in an isolated field (no associated symptoms) or associated with urgency, frequency, dysuria, abdominal pain. Fever is variable. Abdominal distention (swelling or bloating) is also variable. Usually, the first physician seen is the PCP who will usually institute treatment for a UTI. He should obtain a urine culture as the minimal workup along with a urinalysis. If this treatment does not work or the bleeding recurs in a short period of time, a referral to a urologist is indicated.