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California Lawsuit Alleges Emergency Room Negligence in Treating Infant

Last month, California parents filed a lawsuit on behalf of their infant daughter who lost parts of all four limbs after the Emergency Room personnel at Catholic Healthcare West negligently delayed their treatment of their young daughter.  The infant girl presented to the hospital with clear signs and symptoms of Streptococcus A, a bacterial infection that had invaded her blood and organs, persistent fever, skin discoloration and weakness.  Emergency room physicians kept the infant waiting 5+ hours despite the fact that she visibly sicker and the parents begged health care providers to treat their daughter.  Finally, the father forced his way into the emergency room triage area and demanded help.  That help came too late.  The child was emergently flown to Stanford University for lifesaving care.  Unfortunately, due to the extent of her illness, the child suffered amputations of both feet, her left hand and part of her right hand.  She now faces intensive physical therapy and a lifetime of health costs, including daily nursing care and assistance in performing basic daily activities of life, including dressing herself, feeding herself, the ability to ambulate on her own, the ability to brush her teeth, etc.  The parents allege in the lawsuit that the hospital negligently staffed, operated and supervised the emergency room, thereby creating an unsafe environment in which overcrowding occurred and the hospital did not have a procedure in place that allowed for critically ill patients to receive immediately necessary care and treatment.  As a result, negligence occurred.

At STSW, our lawyers routinely handling medical negligence / medical malpractice cases in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas in which emergency rooms engage in negligence through a failure to timely see a patient.  These errors often occur because ER's are overcrowded due to under staffing in the hospital.  In other circumstances, patients are inappropriately coded as patients who can wait for treatment, when in fact, these patients require immediate or timely intervention to avoid the loss of life and/or permanent dysfunction.    Recent studies have recently shown how overcrowding in emergency rooms is a serious patient-safety issue that must be made a public health priority.  These studies have shown that hospitals are becoming more and more overcrowded because many individuals who do not possess health insurance utilize hospital emergency rooms as though they were the patient's primary care physician, visiting often and for many non-life threatening conditions such as poison ivy or the common cold.  As a result, when truly life threatening emergencies present to these hospitals the staff is already overwhelmed. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of hospital or ER neglect stemming from a failure to timely treat you, call the lawyers at STSW for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225 or visit our website to set up your free consultation.  Such cases require an understanding of the local hospitals' policies and procedures regarding emergency room admissions, prioritizing of patients and staffing considerations during times such as weekends and holidays.  Our lawyers have experience in dealing with the hospitals on these issues, know what questions to ask and which documents to request so as to obtain a successful result for our clients. 

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