An Ohio medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs on October 13, 2016 in the amount of $1.9 million for the wrongful death of a 31-year-old woman who was misdiagnosed and negligently treated in the defendant hospital’s emergency room and then sent home, where she was found dead in her bed by her family the next morning.
The woman awoke at 3 a.m. on October 16, 2014 with sharp pains in her back and in her right leg. The pain prevented her from walking down the steps in her home. She went to the defendant hospital emergency room, where she and her parents were the only people in the waiting room. During the 69-minute emergency room visit, the woman complained to the medical staff that she had pain in both her back and her right leg. The triage nurse in the emergency room noted in the woman’s medical records that she was on birth control medication, which made her much more susceptible to developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that would be consistent with the woman’s symptoms.
DVT is a serious condition that can lead to blood clots traveling from the affected limb to the heart and lungs, where a pulmonary embolism can form that can be fatal. Nonetheless, the emergency room medical staff evidently failed to recognize the risk of the woman having DVT and they negligently misdiagnosed the woman as having lower back pain for which she was given anti-inflammatory and pain medication before discharging her to return home. Never did the defendant hospital’s emergency room medical staff consider testing the woman for the presence of DVT that could have been detected and promptly treated.
The woman’s family found her unresponsive in bed the next morning at around 9:00 a.m. An autopsy determined that the woman died of a pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots that traveled to her lungs.
The woman’s parents and her three siblings filed their Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant hospital in July 2015. The only offer to settle before trial was in the amount of the defense costs ($60,000), which the plaintiffs rejected.
The Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death jury determined that the emergency room misdiagnosis led to the woman’s death and awarded the $1.9 million verdict to her family. The hospital’s defense attorney has vowed to appeal the verdict.
The day after the Ohio medical malpractice jury found in the family’s favor, the woman’s mother stated, “They just rushed us through, they wouldn’t listen, it was bad. I kept saying no, it’s her leg, it’s her leg, but they just ignored me.”
If you or a family member suffered serious harm as a result of a misdiagnosis made in a hospital emergency room in the United States, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your emergency room medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case against the hospital and/or the emergency room physician, if appropriate.
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