Emergency care in Ohio can make the difference between life and death, but health providers may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit when they act negligently. The widow of patient sued an Akron-based medical practice and 22 other defendants because her husband died from a stroke after not being seen by an attending physician for approximately 20 hours after he arrived in the defendant's emergency room.
According to the lawsuit, filed last month in Summa County, her 58-year-old husband was transported by ambulance to the health care facility during the morning of Aug. 1, 2017. Three hours later, CT scan results indicted a possible cerebellar stroke and the couple were told that he was suffering a stroke.
An intern and first-year resident saw the patient four hours after coming to the emergency room, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiff claims that he was about one month out of medical school and did not summon the stroke team. A neurologist was ordered, but did not come.
Later, a third-year medical resident doctor saw the patient for mental status changes and ordered a nurse to re-orient him and get him to relax. No emergency medical or attending physician examined the patient during the 10 hours he was in the emergency room.
The plaintiff also claims that her husband's condition got worse, and, in fact, he was not seen by an attending doctor for the 20 hours he was at this medical facility. After being paged by a nurse, the third-year resident never saw the patient, until the patient suffered a heart attack.
He was subsequently transferred to Akron City Hospital. Following surgery, he died four days later. A cerebellar stroke-cerebral edema was the official cause of death.
In addition to these allegations of negligent care, the plaintiff claimed that a certified nurse practitioner and residents provided care outside the scope of their recognized practice and without direct supervision. She also referred to the loss of the center's emergency medical resident program and cited its earlier violations by a national accrediting body for not obtaining specialized care for patients suffering strokes, residents seeing patients without supervision and patients being sent home without being seen by a doctor.
An attorney can help assure that compensation is sought for the loss of a love one through negligence. They can also assure that the appropriate parties are held responsible.