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Emergency Room Heartache in Maryland

A 32-year-old man on vacation was walking on the beach when he became short of breath. He rested for an hour, but began to experience chest pain and went to a nearby hospital. After describing his symptoms and stating that heart disease runs in his family, the man was sent home with an acid reflux diagnosis and an antacid prescription. 

That night, he experienced severe chest pain and passed out. His wife found him and called an ambulance. The man suffered a heart attack because of undiagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy. An electrocardiogram and echocardiogram would have demonstrated his abnormal heart rhythm and enlarged heart. Although the emergency room was chaotic during the man’s visit, the doctor may be held liable for failure to exercise reasonable care.

Proving negligence

Even though the ER is often hectic, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are required to exercise reasonable care. In the scenario above, the physician probably should have ordered an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram based on the man’s family history and symptoms. A dedicated southern Maryland personal injury attorney can aid victims in bringing a lawsuit in such circumstances. 

To establish a medical malpractice claim, you must prove: 

  • That a doctor-patient relationship existed
  • That the treatment provided comprised negligent acts
  • That you suffered harm as a result of the negligence

To prove the doctor-patient relationship, the medical records of the patient’s admission and transcribed details relating to the treatment of the patient are usually sufficient. A doctor who fails to provide the standard of care that a reasonably competent doctor would exercise under comparable circumstances is acting negligently. A patient must prove that the standard of care or degree of competence that would be exercised by an ER doctor in similar circumstances was breached and, in effect, caused foreseeable harm. 

Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. provides assistance from prominent attorneys determined to obtain the maximum recovery for injuries clients sustain as a result of medical malpractice. The firm represents clients in Charles County, St. Mary’s County and Calvert County and the surrounding areas. 

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