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8 hours in ER suffering with severe breathing difficulty. NEVER treated by a doctor. What is my next step?

Bay City, MI |

After 8 hours I was suddenly admitted to hospital. During ER time NO doctor or nurse treated me or checked on me. Emergency call button was disconnected. Admitted for 2 days, diagnosed with lung infection. Filed complaint w/hospital, their finding, I was "treated appropriately in ER". Filed complaint with MI Board of Licensing & Regulation, their finding, no cause for action. Advised by State Nurse to check my medical records. ER records falsified. ER Dr. "claimed" I received EKG, oxygen, IV push, and various drugs along with a physical and counseling. NONE of this was done. Other than filing age discrimination suit, what would be my next best step? I now have home oxygen, Spiriva, etc. My life is now full of fear that I won't get enough oxygen and would die as a result.

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Attorney answers 6


This sounds pretty outrageous, but whether or not you have a viable claim will depend in part on whether or not the failure to diagnose and treat you in a more timely manner resulted in increased, long lasting physical problems.

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Your experience sounds quite disturbing. If you are thinking of a malpractice case you should consider this. In order to pursue a malpractice case you will need a doctor that will review all of the medical records and be willing to opine that the ER doctor/hospital deviated from the standard of care and that deviation caused you an injury. This is very costly so you must have a significant injury in order to make it economically feasible to proceed. It sounds like you don't meet that threshold however you might want to review the case with a malpractice attorney in order to discuss your options.


If you wish to pursue this you should meet with an attorney.


First, if I understand you correctly -you did not incur damage beyond fear. Thus, there is not much a civil attorney can do for you, as we can only obtain a money judgment or settlement for you based on actual provable damages that include medical bills (that you would not have incurred except for negligence), lost wages, etc. I can tell you I am not seeing a case that will result in the hospital paying you any money.

It sounds like your main issue is that you were not treated properly. In that case, your best bet is to file a complaint with the state (which you have) or with the Joint Commission:

If your medical records reflect treatments that were never given, this could be a matter of fraud that the Joint Commission would look into. You will have to give them something to show that there is actually fraud. You stated that your records indicate that an EKG was performed, but you say one was not performed. This should be easy to prove. There should be separate EKG results reported which would only be created in the event an EKG was done. If you can show that they billed you for an EKG and reported an EKG in your records, but there are no EKG results you may be able to get somewhere with your complaint.

This information is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The information provided does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state.


Your next step really depends on your damages. Unfortunately, and while this may not seem fair, if "fear" is your only permanent damage, a medical malpractice attorney would have a difficult time proving your case. If, however, you have actual physical injuries as a result of the treatment you received in the ER, this is a different story entirely. Contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to determine whether or not you have an actionable case.


Best bet is to call the hospital administrator to complain.

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