Doctors, especially emergency room doctors, have difficult jobs. The fate of hundreds of patients each day likely relies on their ability to quickly and accurately diagnose their patient’s illness or injury. Unfortunately, a medical professional’s mistake could have dangerous consequences for patients in North Carolina. Those who have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice can seek legal recourse in the form of a wrongful death case, just as one out-of-state woman has recently done.
The lawsuit was filed by a woman on behalf of the estate of her deceased husband. She claims that her husband reported to the emergency room in March 2012 and was treated for a heart infarction, among other illnesses. A stent was inserted in an artery at that time. He returned to the emergency room the same month, complaining of nausea and arm pain. Two doctors named in the suit diagnosed him with a sprained elbow and gave him a prescription for pain medicine.
Later in the month, the man’s personal physician sent him back to the emergency room in West Virginia. He was treated for sepsis at that time. During this course of treatment, his heart stopped beating, and health care providers were unable to resuscitate him. The woman claims that her husband’s death could have been prevented if doctors had taken his previous medical history into consideration when they diagnosed him with a sprained elbow.
The lawsuit ultimately claims that the doctors’ negligence caused the man’s death. Such a loss is often devastating both emotionally and financially as family members cope with medical bills, funeral expenses and the loss of income. In order to have some financial relief, those in North Carolina who have lost a loved one as a result of a medical professional’s negligence have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit as this woman has done. If the case is successfully litigated, they could receive damages as allowed by applicable law.
Source: The West Virginia Record, “Woman claims ER doctors to blame for husband’s death“, Annie Cosby, May 5, 2014