For many people in Pennsylvania, the decision to seek treatment at a hospital's emergency room only arises from the desperation created by unbearable pain. These patients have hope that doctors will be able to diagnose the cause of their pain and provide appropriate care. Unfortunately, an oversight on the part of medical care officials can have severe consequences. A recent lawsuit, filed in another state, claims to illustrate the harm that medical malpractice can cause.
The lawsuit accuses a hospital and doctor of causing the death of the plaintiff's wife because the doctor failed to accurately diagnose and treat the woman's illness. According to court papers, the woman sought treatment at the hospital in June 2013 because she was suffering from several abdominal pain, a fever and back pain. The doctor named as the defendant ran multiple tests as a result of her complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that test results, including a white blood count nearly double the average range, indicated that the woman was suffering from acute pancreatitis. Despite these indications, however, the man claims that the doctor failed to treat her or order additional observation. Over the course of the next few weeks, the woman's condition reportedly continued to deteriorate. She was eventually transported to the hospital by ambulance, but ultimately passed away as a result of multiple organ failure caused by septic shock.
While those who lose a loved one due to medical malpractice often suffer as a result of the financial consequences -- including lost wages and funeral expenses -- of their loss, they must also cope with the pain created by a loved one's death. Some people are also left with concern that other families will suffer as a result of similar negligence. As a result, many people in Pennsylvania in similar circumstances also choose to take legal action as this man has done. A successfully presented case can result in a monetary award and also prompt medical facilities to initiate change that can potentially save the lives of future patients.