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Man Dies in ER Waiting Room after Docs Ignored Heart Condition

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A man who was not given treatment for his chest pains at the emergency room died of a heart attack while waiting for a ride home late one night in June. It was hours after he died that ER staff finally noticed him. The man’s family is now accusing the hospital of contributing to his death through medical malpractice. This story is likely disturbing to anyone in St. Louis who assumes that medical staff in their local emergency room will do whatever they can to help them during a medical emergency.

The man, 38, who lived in another state, was rushed by ambulance to the ER with chest pains after he called 911 June 26. The man had a history of heart problems, which probably explains his understandable concern about his symptoms. The EMTs who took him to the hospital also believed the situation was serious; they indicated that the man’s symptoms were “consistent with an impending cardiac event.”

But after being examined by an ER doctor, the patient was simply told to see his cardiologist and was discharged. He went to the lobby, perhaps to wait for a ride home.
Several hours later, staff discovered his lifeless body. He had suffered a fatal heart attack and rigor mortis had set in.

A hospital spokeswoman said the incident had been investigated internally. But the patient’s family says the hospital is negligently responsible for his death by not admitting him for observation instead of sending him away. They have filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice suit against the hospital.

Source: The News Journal, “Family blames Beebe in death,” Sean O’Sullivan, Sep. 21, 2012

Our law firm represents clients who have been harmed due to medical malpractice. For more information, please visit our St. Louis medical malpractice page.

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