Why a Delay in Care Could Be Medical Malpractice

Health care providers are required to administer medical care as quickly as possible.

emergency-room-entranceThis is the main reason for an emergency room triage. Specially trained nurses are in place to assess the extent of an injury or illness and determine which require immediate attention. Failure to provide timely care may be construed as medical malpractice in certain circumstances. In order for you to prove that a delay in your care had negative consequence on your health, your St. Louis medical malpractice attorney will need to be able to prove a few things.

When Delay in Treatment Is Medical Negligence

The first thing that your St. Louis medical malpractice attorney will need to show is that the delay in treatment was negligent on the part of the doctor or another member of the staff. The physician in these cases cannot be held liable if he/she was not aware of you or your dire need for treatment. Beyond that, it has to be shown that delaying your care caused some kind of harm. The physician may have taken hours to get to your room, but if you did not suffer for that then you cannot claim medical malpractice. In addition, medical testimony will be needed to show the extent of injury that was caused by the delay.

Medical Negligence Resulting In a Leg Amputation

Take, for example, the case of a Missouri gentleman who went to the emergency room complaining of severe leg pain. The triage system in his case worked perfectly and he was seen by an emergency room physician who diagnosed an aneurysm in his lower extremity. An aneurysm is an extremely time sensitive blood vessel issue that could cause major complications if not treated immediately. Despite knowing the extreme nature of the case, surgeons delayed his surgery, further restricting blood flow to the area. As a result, the leg required amputation. The surgeon handling his case agreed to a $362,000 settlement.

In the above circumstance, the argument for negligence is clear. The doctor knew of the circumstance but did not react in a timely manner. Evidence would have been introduced showing what another surgeon in a similar situation would have done in order to show how the treating surgeon was negligent. The ensuing injury is obvious in this example. If not for the delay in treatment, the patient would still have both of his legs. Here all criteria was met in order to make a solid case for medical malpractice.

Other Healthcare Providers Who Are Accountable

Physicians and surgeons are not the only medical providers who can be held accountable for delaying treatment. A nurse who fails to inform a physician of a change in status could be guilty of malpractice as could an X-ray technician who fails to share important results quickly.

If you have suffered as a result of a delay in your treatment, call Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Murphy today.

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