Choosing to go to the emergency department of a hospital is usually a spur-of-the-moment decision for people in New York who need immediate medical attention. Part of the responsibility of health care providers includes taking careful stock of symptoms, even in a situation that must be resolved quickly. This includes paying attention to what patients and family members have to say about the problem to prevent making a critical medical mistake.
The family of a deceased woman believe her death in a Brooklyn hospital emergency department may have been partially due to a serious diagnostic error. The patient suffered from a severe headache, and during her brief stay in the hospital she went into cardiac arrest more than once. In spite of these acute symptoms, the members of the hospital staff who examined her allegedly assumed she was suffering from a reaction to synthetic marijuana and placed restraints on her.
The cause of death is currently under investigation by the city medical examiner’s office. The family refuted the diagnosis of a drug reaction, claiming the patient had never used them. They believe that she died as a result of untreated meningitis.
No one should ever need to stop and wonder whether it is a good idea to seek medical assistance in an emergency. When a health care provider does not provide the level of attention and care that a reasonable person would, a person’s symptoms may be missed, leading to greater harm. An attorney may represent those who lose a loved one due to medical errors.
Source: The New York Times, “3 Top Officials Leaving Coney Island Hospital After Patient’s Death,” Marc Santora, Mar. 4, 2016