When people present to the emergency departments in New York City’s hospitals, they are typically seen by triage nurses prior to being evaluated by a doctor. The role of the triage nurse is to assess a patient to determine the severity of his or her condition. If such a condition is deemed to be serious, the patient may be taken back to be treated right away. However, despite protocols in place that are meant to help triage nurses identify severe cases, the entire assessment may take only a few minutes. Often, this is not enough time to adequately tell how serious a case may be. If treatment does end up being delayed, the consequences can be life-altering.
One need only ask the South Carolina woman who recently filed a lawsuit against a local medical center to see just how devastating those consequences can be. According to her complaint, she presented to the facility’s ED suffering from severe sepsis. However, that ailment was not initially recognized, and an additional 14 hours passed before she was administered antibiotics to combat the condition. She later went into cardiac arrest and ended up needing to have both her legs amputated above the knee, along with her left arm below the elbow and the fingers on her right hand.
If initial assessments fail to recognize what ends up being a serious medical problem, those who suffer from such issues may feel entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they were forced to endure. A jury agreed with that line of thinking in this case, awarding the woman over $13 million in damages. Those pursuing similar claims may want to work with an attorney to help bolster their cases.
Source: WRDW-TV “Jury decides Aiken Regional Medical Center has to pay $13.75 million to triple amputee” Mar. 02, 2017