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Case #4012 Failure to Follow Standards of Care Lead to Stroke


In July, the Plaintiff, (a Board Certified anesthesiologist), suffered a syncopal episode while on an aircraft which landed at the Airport. The event was so significant that an ambulance was summoned and the Plaintiff was taken to the Defendant Hospital’s emergency department for diagnosis and intervention.

The Plaintiff arrived at the Defendant Hospital’s emergency department and was triaged at 10:51 p.m. He reported that he had suffered with dizziness, lightheadedness, as well as numbness in his arms, in addition to headache. The Plaintiff alleged that the emergency department physician performed a cursory examination and negligently diagnosed the Plaintiff with dehydration. It was asserted that the Plaintiff’s presentation was not consistent with dehydration — but was consistent with a much more serious condition.

The Plaintiff alleged that the standards of care required the emergency room physician to perform a detailed neurological examination which, if properly done, would have been abnormal and would have resulted in a neurological consultation with a specialist. Had that occurred, imaging studies would have been completed including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA).  Had that occurred in accordance with the standards of care, a dissecting vertebral artery would have been diagnosed with appropriate care rendered on a STAT (emergency) basis, including antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant therapy which would have stabilized his condition. The Plaintiff suffered a stroke which occurred as a direct and proximate result of the ongoing negligence of these Defendants in failing to make an appropriate diagnosis and provide the emergency intervention required.

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