On June 23, 2014, a Louisiana mother filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a local hospital and two physicians, alleging that the misdiagnosis of her daughter led to her untimely death. The plaintiff seeks in her wrongful death lawsuit unspecified compensatory damages that include funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and related expenses.
The medical malpractice plaintiff alleges that she brought her daughter to the emergency room of the defendant hospital on April 25, 2011 because her daughter was experiencing pain, she was nauseous and vomiting, she was unable to eat, and she was experiencing a burning sensation. One of the defendant physicians who saw the young woman in the emergency room ordered a urinalysis, a UA chemical screen, and a UA microscopic screen, but allegedly the defendant diagnosed the daughter as having peptic ulcer disease without reviewing the abnormal results of the urinalysis.
Because her daughter’s pain began radiating into her neck and her chest after the initial emergency room visit, the mother brought her daughter back to the same emergency room on April 30, 2011, at which time the other defendant physician saw her in the emergency room and diagnosed her as having gastroesophageal reflux disease. The mother’s medical malpractice claim alleges that her daughter was not further screened, medically worked up, or tested at that time before she was given medication for reflux and discharged to home.
When her daughter’s condition failed to improve despite the two visits to the emergency room of the defendant hospital, the mother brought her daughter to another medical facility on May 16, 2011, where her condition was diagnosed as Lupus. By that time, the daughter’s kidney function was reduced to 10% to 20% of normal. The daughter was hospitalized for a lengthy period of time during which she received extensive medical treatment, including surgery, but she nonetheless died on November 17, 2011.
The mother’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that had the defendant physicians properly tested and worked up her daughter during her emergency room visits, including properly responding to the abnormal urinalysis and ordering appropriate further testing, she would have been correctly diagnosed and timely appropriate medical treatment would have begun, which would have avoided her daughter’s unnecessary death. The defendant hospital is accused of failing to train, supervise, and/or direct its staff to communicate abnormal lab results to physicians and patients.
Community members who arrive at hospital emergency rooms with acute, potentially serious medical conditions must necessarily rely on the experience, education, knowledge, and training of the hospital personnel, including the physicians, nurses, and other medical staff, who are assigned to their care – patients rarely have previous knowledge of the qualifications and expertise of those who provide care to them in hospitals, including those who have no direct contact with patients, such as lab technicians who run lab tests and hospital employees whose responsibility it is to communicate important information among the hospital personnel.
If you or a family member were seriously injured or suffered other substantial harms as a result of negligent care in an emergency room, you should promptly seek the assistance of a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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