ADMIRALTY / MARITIME LAW

Family sues hospital after mother collapses in waiting room

| Apr 29, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

The healthcare system in the United States is recognized as being among the best in the world. The quality of care that the system produces may mandate that it be costly. The high cost of healthcare may often serve as a deterrent from people in Metairie seeking treatment when it is needed (as they may worry about being able to afford it). Yet lawmakers realize that this should not happen, especially in situation where emergency care is needed. Thus, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act was established so that patients who present to the emergency room or labor and delivery unit receive the treatment they need. 

According to EMTALA, such care should be stabilizing treatment. A patient’s ability to pay should not be a factor in delivering such care. Yet a California family is claiming that is was in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a local facility. The family claims that their mother collapsed in the hospital emergency department waiting room after presenting the facility with difficulty breathing. The family’s lawsuit details how diagnostic testing on the woman indicated that she was suffering from a potentially life-threatening case of heart failure. Still, the ED staff simply offered her medication and discharged her. After collapsing, the woman slipped into a coma, which doctors now believe she is unlikely to ever wake up from. 

In their lawsuit, the family claims that the hospital’s ED staff failed to deliver quality care to the woman due to her being on the state’s Medicaid program. In cases like this where financial motivations may have impacted the delivery of care, victims and their families may be justified seeking compensation. The path to earning such compensation may be made much more clear if one has the experience of an attorney to rely on.