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October 7, 1974

How Would You Decide?

JAMA. 1974;230(1):132-133. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240010090046

THE hypothetical situations presented here are based, in substantial part, on actual court trials. Expert medical opinion is omitted. The reader is invited to draw on his own medical expertise.

On this basis, the reader is challenged to match his evaluation of the claim with the actual jury verdict in a suit involving similar facts. Jury verdicts are found at the end of the article.

Extradural Hematoma  A teen-aged boy was in a fight with another boy of similar age. He was struck on the right temple and fell to the ground. Because the injured boy ran away after the fight to wait for his father's return from work, he was not taken to a hospital emergency room until two hours and 45 minutes after the injury.In the emergency room, a nurse found his blood pressure to be 130/80 mm Hg; his pulse rate, 62 beats per minute; and