ER doctor refused to remove pieces of glass from my foot...

by Sharon
(Brooklyn, NY)

I went to the emergency room for foot pain. They took an x-ray and found I had a couple pieces of tiny glass in my right foot. The doctor told me to find another podiatrist because they were booked up for three months. She told me all I need was a small scraping around the area.

I told her I was in a lot of pain, but she only prescribed some pain pills which I had to asked for. What I don't understand is why she would not do the procedure if the only thing I need was a scraping? It's now a month later and I'm in more pain than ever.

I went to another doctor made the next available appointment for three days later. I told her what the ER doctor said but when she tried to scrape it, it was too deep inside. She says I need surgery to remove it. Now I'm waiting for medical clearance. I have not been back to work since the ER because it's to painful to stand.

Can I sue the ER doctor for not treating me and removing the glass since all I needed was a scraping? Aren't ER doctors supposed to give needed treatment?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "ER doctor refused to remove pieces of glass from my foot...":

Sharon (Brooklyn, NY):

People can sue anyone, at anytime. So yes, you can sue the doctor and the hospital. Unfortunately, if you do, you will likely have your case promptly dismissed after the defendant’s attorneys file a Motion for Summary Judgment. Moreover, if your case is dismissed you may be responsible for the defendant’s attorneys' fees and court costs.

From the facts you present, you really don’t have a meritorious claim. Emergency room doctors normally see more patients in one day than some private doctors do in a week. ER doctors exist to stabilize patients who present with serious and often life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Your injury doesn't appear to qualify as serious or life-threatening.

It’s possible the emergency room doctor made a mistake in your diagnosis. Medical mistakes happen all the time. While doctors are charged with a high duty of care to their patients, unless a patient is able to prove the doctor’s treatment, or failure to treat, was a substantial deviation form the medical standard of care in the medical community, medical malpractice was not committed. The facts you present don’t seem to rise to that level.

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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