Patient waited 20 hours to receive urgent test, surgery at Pennsylvania hospital

A patient ill with a condition that can cause loss of a testicle had to wait nearly a day to undergo testing and surgery at Penn State Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, according to

The patient arrived at the medical center Feb. 14, 2019, with severe pain in his back, side and scrotum, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health report. A physician recommended an ultrasound test to see if the patient had testicular torsion, a condition that requires quick surgery to avoid loss of a testicle and infertility. Yet the physician did not indicate the ultrasound's urgency on the electronic order.

The ultrasound was not performed until the next day, about 20 hours after the patient came to the medical center. The patient underwent surgery two hours after the ultrasound, at which point his testicle was removed.

The state health department has faulted the medical center for the incident. The medical center must implement a correction plan to improve future responses to urgent patient care.

Penn State Health did not respond to Becker's request for comment.

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