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Can an emergency room doctor refuse a heart attack patient a TPA drug

Utica, NY |

I was having a heart attack upon entering the hospital E R. I asked the doctor to administer a TPA Drug (clot buster) to stop the heart attack. He refused ,said it was for strokes only and wanted me to go to their cath lab.

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Attorney answers 3


The ER doctor does not have to follow your medical advice, as the doctor can treat you the way he/she sees fit.

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If you are asking whether the ER doctor committed medical malpractice, the question would be whether it was below the standard of care for the ER doctor not to order a specific medication necessary to treat your acute condition. Also, did the doctor's course of action cause you damages?

You didn't mention what damages you believe were caused by the doctor's potential negligence.

Medical malpractice cases are expensive to prosecute and without sufficient damages to warrant the time and expenses of a lawsuit, most lawyers will refuse to handle medical negligence cases.

If you believe you suffered damages as a result of the doctor's decision not to order the "TPA drug" (i.e., was your condition made worse because of this decision? Or are your injuries consistent with the effects of a heart attack, regardless of the doctor's treatment) you can contact medical malpractice attorneys in your area and learn the full scope of your rights.

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tPA is a drug that helps strokes sometimes. It should be used only in accordance with certain strict guidelines. All hospitals have them. If the doctor had administered the drug to you in violation of the guidelines and you had been injured as a result, you would have a strong case. You don't have a case if the doctor refused to give you a drug that you asked for, unless in refusing to do so, he violated standard care and you were injured. As far as I know, tPA is not standard therapy for heart attacks. Moreover, you have not told us anything that suggests you were injured.

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.

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