Author Topic: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..  (Read 4033 times)

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Offline Clayface

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Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« on: September 15, 2010, 05:58:37 pm »
so, My girlfriend has a history of H. pylori and stomach ulcers. a few months ago she was screaming in pain from her ulcers, we went to a hospital, they gave her medicine and she was fine...
now, 3-4 days ago, same problem happened, she's been screaming nonstop in pain. she went to the emergency room via ambulance both yesterday and the day before. they took bloodwork, (which won't show ulcers), since she was screaming in pain nonstop the entire time, they figured she was some sort of junkie looking for a prescription and discharged her without prescribing anything or checking for an ulcer. so the pain started getting worse, the next day she was still screaming nonstop, so she went to the ER AGAIN, same exact thing happened, except this time, after taking bloodwork they told us she was pregnant. so we started freaking out, about an hour later they came back into her room and said they got the charts mixed up and she is not pregnant and discharged her  again without helping.
this is now day 3. she's was screaming nonstop this morning, waking me up every 30 min. or so. after a few hours of this I called her dad, which called her cousin to come pick her up and take her to a different hospital, because if we called another ambulance they would just take her to the same one and the same thing would happen.
she just left for this new hospital like 30 min. ago. I filed a complaint online about the hospital, but am afraid there isn't much else I can do,
I'm gong to invest in a tape recorder, so in case this ever happens again I can record everything.  from what I've found online there isn't much I can do right now because I don't have any physical evidence against the hospital.



Offline Uroboros

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 06:19:48 pm »
For now, be as strong as you can be for her.

Wait until she has been treated at the other hospital, and once the worst of this is over, find out what was wrong. Ask the attending doctor for advice. Then try asking for legal advice wherever is appropriate for where you live. It can be tricky to advise you because different countries handle things like this differently. Here in the UK, we have the Citizens Advice Bureau, which is free, where you can at least make general inquiries and get some leads to start pursuing, and sometimes they can even follow up things on your behalf. Dig around, and if her problems aren't treated immediately, start taking notes. Where you went, who examined her, the general time you arrived/discharged/etc, and what they put it down to, etc. Go with her when you can so you can say first-hand what you observed, if the needs arise.

Hang in there, make sure you can recall the names, times and dates, and worry more about sueing once she has been properly treated. If they try to discharge her when she is in obvious agony and you've told them it has been going on for days, ask them what the reason is, and write down the name. You'll be amazed how cautious people can get when suddenly their name is tagged onto their decisions.

Good luck, and I hope she gets better soon. :/

Offline Gnoll

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 07:52:27 pm »
I'd say go for it (if you're in America.) You can probably get at least some money off of them if you wine enough about it.
Sorry, all you idealists out there, but that's how American justice works from what I know. Also, just kidding, and you lost the game.
Who are you again and why in the world would you expect anything resembling rationality or civility in youtube comments?

Offline Lush City

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 07:58:50 pm »
Dude, not funny. This girl is aparently close enough to him to be his baby momma, she's in horrible agony and the redkneck medical system of the Desert isn't helping AT ALL. And what is your response? Meme jokes! Not cool man, not cool.

Offline Legodragonxp

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 08:13:57 pm »
You need to contact the patient advocate nurse at the hospital, they are like internal affairs at the police department. They are the ones you work with so that you can get this kind of thing sorted out.

Now I am not going to defend that actions of the hospital in your case since I was not there and I have only heard and seen your side of the story, but when someone comes in with issues that a simple test cannot determine, you are going to get the standard apporach towards the issue.

An ER is not a clinic or regular doctor visit. More than likely the ER expected your girlfriend to go to a regular doctor at a normal medical facility to address the issue after the first day rather than use the ER as a repeat approach to the issue. ERs are for critical issues, but for many reasons people use them as a one-stop shop. That is not their prupose.

Now I could go in to a ton of reasons why the ERs are flooded with people and why the treatment there is often 'rubber stamped'. But there are two major ones. First, the ER HAS to see you, and if you cannot pay the effect on you is minimal (your credit rating is not effected by unpaid medical bills). Second, most young people that do have insurance only have 'catastrophic' coverage... that is spelled out as ER visits.

As for filing a lawsuit against the hospital... what is your proof? I am serious about this. A lawsuit would require you to convince a dozen people that there is, without reasonable doubt, cause for you to seek damages. You can't objectively measure pain, let alone prove it in court. The hopsital documented everything they did. Even if they made a mistake on the test, unless there was treatment for that misdiagnosis there is nothing that can really be done about it.  If they refuse to administer drug because they thought she was pregnant they were actually following their safety protocols. The err on the side of caution.

It all sucks. I work for hospitals and my wife has had seeming endless health issues. I have been in your very same shoes multiple times over the last ten years. If you find yourself in the same postion again down the road, your best bet while there is to not get mad, but request to talk to the the Nurse Patient Advocate. Keep calm and talk to them. Sometimes it is simply a matter of perspective for all parties involved.

I hope this helps some. Good luck.

-Lego

Offline Uroboros

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 08:27:01 pm »
I don't think you can really sue a hospital for poor bedside manner.
...like discharging someone in constant pain without keeping them in for observation, even when they came back in with the same complaint?
That isn't exactly just 'bedside manner', Pat. Sure, some things are hard to detect, and sometimes we get told what it is but the pain drives us to fear for something worse, but outright discharge and dismissal doesn't help either. Simple things can easily be exacerbated by panic, and if a hospital says "there is nothing wrong with you" whilst you're in a lot of pain, that really doesn't help. It is also hard to stay calm and collected, and go through the base channels of your local GP for initial tests, when you're in that degree of pain. I appreciate that hospitals can be pretty overworked, short-staffed and such, but I prefer to empathise with people in great pain, given commercial/governmental hospital circuits can defend themselves just fine. :P For example, my grandfather had a mixture of a fractured rib, a chest infection, passive COPD (a 'watery lung thingy), and a mystery form of labyrinthitus. It took them until the second time around to even identify the chest infection, the fractured rib was on the third hospital visit, and the COPD was already suspected from prior to all this. Hell, i've had an "optical migraine" before and I freaked the hell out at that, without any pain. Panic can turn a survivable pain into an unbearable agony, especially if you have too much imagination.

Thats why legal advice is always good. Sometimes you get people in positions of (relative) power, who feel their opinions or assumptions outside of their field, should take precedence over actually following the rulebook. I've had this happen to me before. Though sometimes a detached or apathetic doctor/nurse can just make it look like they're discarding you as soon as they can, when in fact they did everything properly. Legal advice is great like that, because it isn't just a "I don't like this, SUE SUE SUE" response. Sure, some people would try it on to get a fix, but even if somebody looked like a total burnout stoner, guessing or opinions based on the appearance should never outweigh due protocol. Even when they do everything by the book, there is still the tiny instances of malpractice that can really make you wonder if they're taking you seriously. In the previously mentioned deal with my grandfather, one of the times they took blood from him whilst I was there, the nurse had trouble getting a sample... so guess what she did? She literally wiggled the needle whilst it was in his arm. It hurt like hell. Call me paranoid but I don't think that is standard procedure. Or two of my aunts, one of which who works more in the care sector for the elderly, and another who is a senior sister, who have ran into a lot of troubles because of the amount of reports they've had to file against colleages who constantly didn't follow the fine rules and ended up having other people suffer as a result.

Sometimes it isn't about the health of other people, sometimes, it is 'just a job'. Paranoid? Maybe, but i've come to see it this way due to little hiccups I have seen or been on the bad end of. Don't trust people as far as you can throw em, heh. For all the staunch professionals, it only takes one assbat to screw things up.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 08:55:14 pm by Uroboros »

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 08:36:03 pm »
You're definitely not wrong.

Offline Lush City

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 08:53:35 pm »
Although when they asked about "her being a drugee" was it based on prior knowledge. As another member said you're not exactly the most conservative of folks.

Offline Cobra

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 11:35:09 pm »
Yeah step 1 should be get your girl healthy. In the meantime gather information the more you have the better you will be. After that point you can start to look into if courts need to be involved. Either way you should focus on getting your girlfriend well again.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 04:17:50 am »
I get gastritis from time to time and I get drugs for it free on the NHS. Want me to send over a shipment?

- Krakow Sam, international drug dealer
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Clayface

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2010, 09:46:16 am »
well, she's still at the hospital that she went to yesterday, so I'm assuming they are treating her correctly at this new hospital.
and thank you very much for the offer Krakow, I'm going to wait and see how this plays out, they will probably  prescribe her some medicine or whatnot.
but it's good to know that if she ever does need medicine like that and we for some reason can't get it, it's good to know you have my back.

Offline Lush City

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2010, 09:52:24 am »
We will always be here for you, Clay. Once a Stever, always a Stever.

Offline Inkling

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2010, 09:59:54 am »
You already did the best thing you could have before you started this thread, which was to call her parents for help.  I'm sure you and she are legally adults and think of yourself as such, but the emergency room staff thought of you as two drugged up kids.  I'm sure her father has more of a sense of authority about him, and probably has a better understanding of the local medical system.  Even if you want to be an independent adult, there is no shame in turning to parents for help, especially when there are medical problems.
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Offline Haseri

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 10:38:03 am »
We will always be here for you, Clay. Once a Stever, always a Stever.

What the hell do you think this place is?

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Can I sue this hospital? I need advice..
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 11:00:54 am »
and thank you very much for the offer Krakow


Sorry, I was kidding. I don't think it would even be legal :P
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.