Anyone in Oregon who has a family member with heart problems wants to know that he or she is receiving the best care possible. In some cases, that means transferring the patient from one hospital to another that has better monitoring facilities and equipment in an effort to provide a higher standard of care. When a hospital falls short of that expectation, it might be due to hospital negligence.
That is what one out-of-state family is alleging happened to their 72-year-old loved one. He went into one hospital complaining of fever, heaviness in his chest and shortness of breath on May 10, 2014. After being examined there, a physician recommended that he be transferred to another hospital in the same network that has an inpatient telemetry unit for continuous monitoring of a patient's heart.
It is alleged that upon arrival at that Michigan facility, the man, who suffered from heart disease, was not placed in the unit the other doctor had recommended. He was not continuously monitored as was expected. In the early morning hours of May 20, 2014, he was found unconscious by a nurse.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed, and his heart was shocked five times before he was pronounced dead. The family says it was told that his cardiac arrest was caused by sepsis and that he had developed a brain injury. The lawsuit was filed against the hospital, a doctor of internal medicine and others, alleging that their loved one was not provided with the proper monitoring and treatment needed in order to prevent a heart attack.
It will be up to the court in this case to determine whether hospital negligence led to the man's death. If so, his family could be awarded damages similar to those that are available here in Oregon under similar circumstances. No amount of money will change what happened to this man, but it could lead to changes in hospital policies and procedures that could prevent the death of someone else.
Source: mlive.com, "Lawsuit accuses Mercy Health Saint Mary's of negligence in patient death", Sue Thoms, Sept. 16, 2015