When a patient is received in a Delaware emergency room with a blocked artery around the heart, time is of the essence. Any delay in treatment can leave a damaged muscle, brain injuries or death due to a reduced blood flow to essential organs. A woman in another state has filed a lawsuit against her husband's emergency room physician following a horrific night of watching her husband linger for hours after the doctor declared him dead.
The couple was shopping in a grocery store when the man collapsed with an apparent heart attack. Emergency workers were called and reportedly performed CPR on the man. He was transferred to an emergency room for additional lifesaving treatment, but according to the doctor, he did not survive. The doctor pronounced him dead and allowed the family in the room to be with the man.
The wife has explained that instead of finding a dead husband, she found him alive. She recounts that although he could not speak due to the treatment he received, he followed her with his eyes, attempted to hug her and adjusted his legs and feet on the gurney on his own. Attempts to ask the physician to examine her husband were met with excuses and no physical examination or heart monitoring. Almost three hours after her husband was pronounced dead, the coroner requested the man to be re-examined because he appeared to still be alive. After the man was discovered to have a heartbeat, he was transferred for an emergency open heart surgery, but the treatment was too late.
The woman's lawsuit is in progress and a judge recently ruled it could continue. Some of the claims were altered in the process, but the woman hopes to gain closure with the final outcome and accountability for the doctor who treated her husband. For some families, compensation may not always be the end goal, but for many it can help with the unexpected expenses and transition to life without a loved one. Anyone whose loved one suffered unnecessary brain injuries, disabilities or death because of a similar delay of treatment or misdiagnosis could benefit from the advice of an attorney in Delaware about legal recourse.
Source: CBS News, "Woman says Buffalo-area hospital declared living husband dead", Feb. 20, 2018