I went to a hospital by ambulance for a very bad head ache tingling in my arm and vision loss. they pulled up to the hospital and immediatly put me in the waiting room. 2 hours later i saw a triage nurse I told her I think im having a stroke she said "your 21 your to young to have a stroke" she took my vitals and then sat me in the waiting room again. I sat there for 3 hours. Some nurse came out and made an announcement that the hospital was very busy and if our emergency wasent cruitial we should prob wait to see a normal doctor. So I left. My sight never came back and 2 days later I went to emory and the did an MRI which showed I HAD had a stroke. and now my vision is permenetly gone. What legally can I do about this?
3 Answers from Attorneys
I am sorry for your health situation.
As to whether or not you have a claim, the answer is maybe yes and maybe no. To have a claim, medical experts would have to show (1) that you would have had a better health outcome with quicker treatment AND (2) that the care you got was not only negligent, but less than the normal standard of care. Those are high thresholds, and you should meet with a lawyer immediately to review the records and determine if there is, or is not, a claim.
The only way to find out is a full review by a lawyer and a medical expert. Find a lawyer who practices primarily in medical malpractice and they can set up a review. The questions that arise are 1) treatment in an ER is normally/often what you experienced, 2) even if they had seen and admitted you, it may have not led to more damage than you already had or would have had, and 3) from your post, you chose to leave.
In order to establish a claim in Georgia against an emergency room physician or ER nurse, you must prove that they were grossly negligent which means that they failed to exercise even slight care. Whether that can be proven in your case depends on what is documented in the records. The other attorneys who have posted are correct. Not only do you have to establish gross negligence, you also have to prove that the outcome would be different if you had received care in accordance with the standard of care. In your case, you would likely need to establish that you wouldn't have lost your sight if you had received timely treatment. Finally, although it seems unfair, the fact that you left the ER and didn't seek other treatment may be held against you. I would recommend that you obtain a copy of your ER records and consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your area. Please keep in mind that a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of your ER visit.
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