Visitor Question

Negligent ER didn’t do x-rays for the object stuck in my throat…

Submitted By: RS (Vancouver, WA)

I was making dinner, hamburger meat mixed with flour, salt and pepper. I was going to taste a small bite to see if it had enough salt. As soon as it hit my throat I knew I had just swelled something sharp and hard. It was very bad pain all the way to where it stopped in my throat.

I went to the ER and right away they gave me morphine. It made me feel a little better but I still had the sharp pain. I tried to tell the doctor and nurse that it was still stuck in the throat. The doctor said she was not going to argue with me that whatever was there may be hurting my throat, but was gone and it’s just sore. She prescribed me some narcotics and said give it a week. It should start feeling better by then.

It was 10:30 at night so I had no place to fill the prescription. I was so upset they were releasing me in the pain I was in. I said thanks for doing nothing, I will go to another ER room for help. I was very nice the whole time I was there. Just when I had to leave in pain I made that smart comment. I went home and found a pharmacy to get the RX filled. They did not take my insurance so I had to pay with cash.

Only the medication was doing no good. I couldn’t even breathe the pain was so bad. After crying for about 8 hours I went to another hospital ER room. There they took X-rays and got me into surgery where they removed a plastic piece from my throat. They called my diagnosis an “impacted esophageal foreign body.” They removed a plastic piece found in the distal esophagus.

I was wondering if I can sue the first hospital for doing nothing but give me drugs? Shouldn’t they at least have done an x-ray of my throat? That just seems like common sense. I think they were totally negligent and didn’t do their jobs.

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 RS,

You certainly seem to have been misdiagnosed by the first doctor. In the facts you present, it is clear the doctor and the hospital were negligent. You clearly presented with symptoms of an impacted esophageal foreign body. The doctor’s failure to order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam or computer axial tomography exam (CT Scan) seems to have been medically inappropriate.

Medical negligence is generally defined as unnecessary injuries to a patient, caused by a doctor’s failure to treat in accordance with the medical standard of care that would have been provided by other qualified doctors in the general area.

In your case, medical malpractice seems to have been clearly committed by the first doctor. As a result, you may have the basis of a malpractice claim not only against the doctor, but the hospital or clinic where you were first treated.

Medical malpractice claims should never be handled alone. These cases are very complex, and are rarely settled out of court. To prevail, you will need to hire medical experts to testify in your behalf. Even though the facts in your claim clearly support medical malpractice, you can be sure the doctor and hospital will never admit it.

Your best interests would be best served by retaining an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Most do not charge for initial office consultations, and do not charge any legal fees until, and unless they settle your claim after a lawsuit has been filed, or win your case at trial.

Gather copies of your medical records and make appointments with several malpractice attorneys in your area. Most successful attorneys have websites showing their experience, including some of the cases they’ve won on behalf of other clients. They usually offer free initial consultations to review the merits of your case.

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: January 30, 2014

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Comments

One thought on “Negligent ER didn’t do x-rays for the object stuck in my throat…

  1. Not only did they not do anything about the object stuck in my throat, but they kept treating me as if I was having a heart attack because of all the drugs I was given in the ER that evening. When I went to the other ER, they helped me.

    I was also told because of all the drugs I was under that when they tried to remove the object, even being much sedated, I was very combative. They said when they tried to give me more sedatives it was causing me to go too far under. Of course I do not remember any of this as I was out.

    Because of this they did not remove it, they ended up pushing it into the stomach. And now I have to take medication for at least three months. Not to mention all the cramping I have had ever since. Geesh!

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