A woman has filed a lawsuit against a doctor, hospital and medical staff after her husband was mistakenly declared dead. The husband died after the doctor initially declared him dead and did not perform further treatment, which the suit alleges could have saved his life. The incident happened last year when the 46 year old suffered a heart attack while shopping as reported by USA Today.
At the hospital, the doctor declared him dead, even though his wife and family members noticed movement. The doctor, as well as nurses in the room, told the family that the movement was normal after death but that he was actually dead. Even though the family tried to protest the diagnosis, the doctor repeatedly denied that the man was alive. In fact, the coroner went into the room twice to pronounce the man dead but left each time, claiming the man was alive.
Medical Professionals Did Not Listen
While the family looked on helplessly, the doctor and other medical professionals continued to claim that the man was dead and stated that what looked like breathing was simply the body expelling excess air. The family thought something was amiss but was inclined to believe the doctor because they thought he was supposed to know what he was doing. In fact, the situation went on for 100 minutes before the doctor noticed his error and began medical treatment. The doctor had finally checked for a pulse and declared that indeed the man was still alive. The man was then transferred to another medical facility where he later died.
Further Examination Showed Medical Errors
After the man was examined it was determined that he had suffered from a collapsed lung. The collapsed lung was caused by a puncture due to broken ribs, which he suffered as a result of CPR. If the lung had been treated promptly, there is a good chance he could have survived. A doctor determined that it was the collapsed lung that ultimately ended his life. He apparently was suffering, struggling to breathe and was trying to show people that he was alive and in need of medical help.
In this particular case, the doctor failed to properly examine and diagnose the man’s condition. He apparently incorrectly concluded that the man had suffered a heart attack and failed to find out that he actually was suffering from a punctured lung. Misdiagnosis is a serious problem that often goes unreported. According to a CBS News report, as many as 12 million Americans are victims of medical misdiagnosis every year. This amounts to about 1 in every 20 patients. It is estimated that about half the cases caused real harm to the patients.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the misdiagnosis of a doctor or because of the failure to diagnose, there is something you can do. The doctor, if negligent, could be guilty of malpractice. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses that resulted because of the medical malpractice. Contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule an appointment.
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