When you go to the emergency room, it's because you're suffering an unusual or particularly painful ailment. Maybe you're feeling faint and can't stand, or you've suffered a broken bone. Whatever the cause, you expect your doctors to treat you appropriately.
If your emergency care isn't up to par, it could mean that a diagnosis is missed and that you suffer the consequences. That's what happened in this case, and the error left a woman dead and a family reeling.
A family in Ohio is hoping that a verdict costing an ER $4.58 million will make some doctors take their jobs more seriously. According to the story, the victim passed away from swelling on the brain brought on by lupus.
Her history involved swelling on the brain; she had gone to the emergency room twice in the past for the same issue, which was extreme headaches bad enough to make her throw up. When she went to Akron General's emergency department in 2012, it was close to a shift change. That meant a first-year resident was treating patients, and he sent her home with a diagnosis of a migraine.
That mistake when making a diagnosis resulted in her death. The next morning, she was unresponsive, and when her husband took her to the hospital, it was found that her brain has swelled and pushed into the hole at the base of the spine.
At the ER appointment, no one looked at her previous medical records, the woman's attorney claims. Because of the error, her husband is left raising three children alone.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "Family hopes $4.58 million verdict against physicians will lead to fewer deadly ER experiences," Stephanie Warsmith, June 02, 2016