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Can I sue a hospital if the ER Receptionist delayed his treatment?

Virginia Beach, VA |

We took my husband in w/ symptoms of a heart attack. I asked her to get him immediate attention and that I would stay w/ her to give all and any ins info she needed. She refused to let him get treatment until ALL the info was in the computer. My husband was clearly in major distress! It took about 10 minutes before a nurse noticed him about to pass out and came and took him into the treatment room. He was diagnosed w/ having a Massive Heart Attack and transferred to another hospital. What can we do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. A ten minute delay in treatment is unlikely to affect the outcome of a heart attack.There is a certain amount of delay built into hospital procedures, unless the patient is obviously about to die. If you said an hour I would encourage you to consult a malpractice attorney. Based on the information you have provided, I doubt that your husband has a viable claim against the hospital. If he had died it might be different, but fortunately he didn't.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  2. Agreed. 10 minutes would not have made a difference since he survived.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


  3. It is unlikely that this short delay was malpractice, however, it could be.....for example, there are countless cases, as we all know, in which delays by the triage as well as ambulances have been found to be malpractice. You would need to have a local med mal lawyer order your records and send to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

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