Visitor Question

Complaint for Mistreatment in Emergency Room?

Submitted By: Regina (Batesville, Arkansas)

I got dizzy and fell at my house. I injured my head when I fell and had to go to the Emergency Room. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have a concussion, and also get some relief from the extreme pain I was in.

The ER staff never managed my pain while I was there, and they put 3 staples in my wound without using anesthetic or giving me pain medicine. I only received 2 pills worth of pain medicine when I was released and that didn’t help the extreme pain which I am still in.

I’m wondering if I can file a complaint against them and if they committed malpractice by not giving me any anesthetic or pain medication? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Regina,

In a word – “NO”.

The hospital afforded you the medical treatment you required. All decisions regarding pain medication and anesthetic were either made or confirmed by an on-staff emergency room physician.

Unless you have overwhelming and credible medical evidenced “beyond a medical certainty” the physician(s) acted improperly you have no case. It was the physician’s decision not to prescribe any additional amounts of pain medication. Although you didn’t say so in the facts you present it is likely the discharge papers advised you to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol. That was done because in the physician’s opinion giving you more pain medication would have been medically inappropriate.

The anesthesia you received was probably a local one. Again, your received three stitches or (staples). That is hardly a serious enough wound to require anything greater than a local anesthetic and a couple of pain pills.

Physicians and nurses are trained to be aware of drug seeking personalities. Although no one is accusing you of having a drug seeking personality, many physicians are quite conservative about prescribing any more controlled substances than they believe are minimally required.

If you are still in pain and discomfort see your own physician. If you can convince her your pain is acute enough to require additional controlled substance pain medications then you should be satisfied.

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

Best of luck,

Published: February 27, 2012

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