One of the main roles of an emergency room (“ER”) doctor is to stabilize a patient.
If the ER doctor suspects that a doctor with more specialization is needed, then the ER doctor needs to get that doctor involved as soon as possible for the patient.
For example, a man was at home walking down his basement steps when he fell down the steps.
While falling he hit his head several times on the steps.
His wife heard the noise from the fall and rushed to the basement to see what was going on.
When she saw her husband at the base of the steps she ran down to help him.
The wife saw that he was unconscious and bleeding from the nose.
As a result, she immediately called for the paramedics.
The husband was unconscious for more than 8 minutes.
When the EMS personnel arrived they got the husband up the stairs and transported him the ER.
On their way to the ER, the EMS noted that the patient was disoriented and had injured his wrist.
Once at the ER, a doctor completed an examination of the patient and was informed by the EMS of the fact that the patient had hit his head on the steps and had been unconscious for at least 8 minutes, had a nose bleed, and was disoriented.
The ER doctor’s examination revealed that the patient’s reflexes were normal but that his pupils were small and did not respond at all to light.
He also noted a fractured wrist.
The ER doctor ordered X-Rays of the patient’s skull and wrist and made a personal call to an orthopedic doctor in the hospital but failed to call the on call neurosurgeon.
After the X-Rays, the patient complained of headaches and started to vomit.
About an hour and a half after arriving to the ER, the orthopedic doctor set the patient’s fractured wrist.
Upon completion of the orthopedic procedure, the ER doctor instructed that the patient be sent to intensive care for observation of the head injury.
During the patient’s stay in intensive care he began start having delusions and was combative.
In addition, he lost control of one side of his body.
The on-call neurologist was finally called about the patient more than 6 hours after the patient had arrived to the ER.
It was determined that the patient had suffered a skull fracture during the fall.
In a wrongful death suit against the ER doctor, the plaintiff’s experts all agreed that the ER doctor should have brought in the neurologist from the onset given the facts in this case.
If you have been injured, or your loved one has died, and you think that an emergency room doctor failed to bring in a specialist in time, this is what we invite you to do.
It costs absolutely nothing to take this action.
Pick up the phone and give us call.
We can be reached at 301-850-4832.
We answer Maryland medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and we would be glad to listen to your story.
If you are like a lot of people who contact us you are probably worried about this process.
Give us a call.
By explaining the process to you, you will have a better understanding of things, thereby maybe helping to reduce your level of worry regarding the process.