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2 suits filed for delayed treatment, neglect of gunshot victims

In Maryland and other jurisdictions, when a hospital is sued twice in a short time for neglect dealing with the same issue, it may be an indication that something is amiss in its procedural protocol. Delayed treatment and a failure to diagnose a man in the emergency room resulted in his untimely death, according to a lawsuit recently filed. Hospital and physician negligence during the week long care of another patient are blamed for his severe injuries, it is charged in a second lawsuit filed the same week.

What ties the two cases together is that they are both gunshot victims. In the first case, the 24-year-old man was shot in the back by persons who may have mistaken him for someone else. In the second case, an individual opened fire randomly against patrons in a crowded barroom, and the plaintiff was seriously injured.

The first plaintiff was transported by emergency personnel, who sent an emergency warning for surgical intervention to the ER. When they got there, however, there was no surgeon. The surgeon on duty was in elective surgery, and the hospital had no protocol for producing another surgeon. The victim, being originally conscious, died after sitting in the ER for two hours without appropriate intervention, according to the suit.

The lawsuit alleges that the man did not have to die and that he would have been saved with immediate, standard ER procedures. In the second case, it is alleged that the same hospital neglected the treatment of the victim during a week of hospitalization. By the end of the week it was discovered that he had developed sepsis, which is a massive, often fatal, infection. He was transferred in extremely critical condition to another hospital where he underwent numerous surgical procedures to save his life over an extended time.

In Maryland, these events would justify the filing of claims for malpractice. Totally missed and delayed treatment in an emergency is generally a sign of malpractice. Likewise, the treatment of a patient for one week without discovering a growing problem leading toward sepsis, is a major indication of professionally substandard care.

Source:, "DCH named in 2 malpractice suits", Stephanie Taylor, July 17, 2014

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