Almost died waiting at ER...

by Carolina
(Oregon)

I arrived at a hospital emergency room, waiting room and was taken in and had blood pressure done and temperature. After one and a half hours of being in screaming, arching my back, sweating and being in pain; my husband asked how much longer and the hospital stated at least three more people ahead of you.

I begged for something for pain, a place to lay down and a blanket and they said I needed to just wait in the waiting room. (They then asked my husband to move me around the corner because my screaming in pain was disturbing others.) My husband decided to scoop me up (yes, I was unable to walk or stand) put me in the car and drive me to the next town's hospital.

We got part way there and due to the pain getting worse he had the ambulance meet us part way and continue to transport me the remaining way. Once arriving at the new hospital, I was diagnosed with stomach perforation and Peritonitis (acute), and was taken into emergency surgery.

Afterwards I was told that this was a life threatening condition, and if I had waited at the other hospital, would have more than likely passed away. I don't want to see others suffer or face worse outcomes. Is this medical negligence? Can I file a lawsuit for unnecessary suffering and putting my life in danger? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Almost died waiting at ER...":

Carolina (Oregon):

You are in a precarious position. To succeed in a medical malpractice claim would require expert medical testimony that the initial hospital's negligence resulted in the perforation and Peritonitis. From the facts you present, there is no evidence that was the case.

While it seems true if you had been admitted earlier you would likely not have had to suffer the additional pain which occurred after arriving at the initial hospital, you would have to prove the initial hospital had less serious cases they admitted before you. That will be difficult.

Unfortunately people come into hospital emergency rooms all the time complaining of serious pain and discomfort. Some also cry out in pain. To support a claim of hospital malpractice would require you to prove the admitting nurse should have been able to diagnose your injury as serious. That didn't occur because you left the hospital.

Moreover, your claim would be hurt because of the time it took you to be driven halfway to the new hospital by your husband, with the paramedics transporting you the balance of the way.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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