A Massachusetts man has sued Yale-New Haven Hospital after he claimed staff at an affiliated health care facility did not properly treat him for a painful and chronic erection condition. Instead, Daren Scott, a bus driver from Brockton, said the staff watched television while he waited for help.
According to The Associated Press, Scott suffered from a condition known as priapism, a painful, rare disorder that causes the penis to stay erect for more than four hours at a time, without the cause of psychological or physical stimulation. It is most common in boys ages 5 to 10 and men ages 20 to 50. Blood-related illnesses, including sickle cell anemia, injury to the genitalia and leukemia, can contribute to priapism.
Scott was reportedly driving his bus route from from Boston to New York in April 2009 when he experienced the painful erection. After dropping off the bus passengers, he went to an emergency facility, where he said staff members told him to wait in the waiting area as they watched a baseball game on television.
"Yale-New Haven Hospital denies the allegations and will vigorously defend its position in court," hospital spokesman Robert Hutchinson said in a statement.
Scott is seeking $2 million in damages in the federal suit.
If left untreated, priapism can result in "complete erectile dysfunction," said Dr. Michael O'Leary, senior urologic surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
To treat the condition, O'Leary said physicians "usually aspirate blood from the penis and instill dilute phenylephrine," a medication often used to relieve nasal discomfort caused by colds and allergies. If that fails to alleviate the erection, "surgery is appropriate," O'Leary said.
Scott said he was forced to wait a total of five hours before getting treated. Scott claims he finally underwent surgery, but it was unsuccessful and he remained in pain for months.