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Hospital may be at fault

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Mr Concerned

On Friday October 20,2000 in the mid afternoon my grandmother was riding in the back seat of my cousins car when they were struck head on by another driver who had simply made a poor judgement call...my cousin was driving the car and suffered a sprained ankle;the airbag saved her for the most part.My aunt,who was in the passenger seat,suffered 2 broken ankles, a broken thumb, and a broken wrist.My Grandmother suffered a 5 inch cut from her hairline down to her eyebrow,a black eye,she lost 2 of her front teeth,and she was having serious pain throughout her back as well as continued trouble breathing.
The ambulance arrived at the scene and picked up all of those envolved.My grandmother was admitted in the Emergency room and was given several stitches to close the wound on her swollen forehead and then sent home with instructions not to let her sleep over 2 hours at a time in case of a possible concussion.NO X-RAYS WERE EVER TAKEN !!!!!!!!NO CAT-SCANS WERE EVER TAKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After I returned home around 4:00am Friday night I was sickened to see the condition that my grandmother was in and even worse to hear the LACK of medical attention that she was given.Her symptoms that continued throughout the night were continued headache, shortness of breath, and severe feeling of nausea.
After a long night full of listening to her on the verge of crying in pain we convinced her to go back to the hospital for the X-Rays that she SHOULD have received when she was first admitted.The results of the X-Ray revealed that she had a collapsed lung and should have NEVER been released from the hospital in the first place!!! She was placed in the hospital and is scheduled to be there for several days to recooperate.We are waiting to find out what the Cat Scans reveal.
When the doctor came back with the X-Rays he stated that her lung must have collapsed over night because the X-Rays from the day before did not show it.We informed him that NO X-Rays were taken and he just laughed it off.Then my aunt looked him in the eyes and said point blank "NO X_RAYS WERE TAKEN!!!!!!!"Essentially they were trying to make it look like they had taken care of business and that whatever happened they were not responsible for.
My question to you is..Is the hospital somewhat responsible for neglect that the proper tests were not taken and that she was released prematurely? To what extent is the hospital responsible for prematurely releasing a patient without proper care being given?
I appreciate any answers you can give in letting me know where My Grandparents may stand on this issue..I will check back at the web-page periodically in hopes of seeing some sort of answer..Thank you again
Mr Concerned



Dear Mr. Concerned;

God bless you and your grandmother. I can only imagine the pain she has been in.

Now, for your question: If your grandmother complained of shortness of breath while in the ambulance or ER, an x-ray should have been done. As for liability; it depends on the outcome.

RUN.....DO NOT WALK....DO NOT PASS GO AND DO NOT COLLECT $200! Get a copy of the ambulance report, the emergency room record (some hospitals only keep these for 30 days and then they are destroyed.) You will need these for any possibility of proving negligence/malpractice.

Once you have received these records, (not before), ask to see a patient representative or social worker in the hospital. Explain to them what happened and make a formal complaint. Make sure you get copies of everything!

Next, should grandma develop pneumonia, or possibly die from her injuries, (God forbid), you may have a claim against the hospital and the ER physician. Seek the services of a good malpractice attorney with a history of representing plaintiffs in emergency room negligence/malpractice cases.

Keep us posted and tell grandma we will be praying for her!


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