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Doctor allegedly mistakes heart attack for stomach illness

When hearing about medical malpractice cases, Providence residents probably notice the term “standard of care” being thrown around quite a bit. The standard of care represents universally-accepted protocols in place that have been proven to help doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and treat their patients. These standards have typically been reaffirmed through clinical trials, and providers are expected to adhere to those which apply to their areas of practice. A failure to do so can open a provider up to accusations of negligence.

Such is the charge being thrown at an ER doctor at an Alabama hospital by the wife of a patient that he treated. In a lawsuit filed against the doctor, the woman claims that her husband presented to the ER complaining of chest pain. Yet rather than follow the protocols to rule out a cardiac-related event, the doctor instead diagnosed the man with a stomach illness and sent him home. Her attorneys argue that had the doctor ordered the necessary tests demanded by the standard of care, he would have discovered the man’s heart problems. Instead, his condition went undiagnosed, and he died just four days later.

While it’s true that providers are somewhat limited in their diagnostic capabilities, standards of care are in place to help them avoid errors. Sadly, their decisions to not follow them can often result in catastrophic consequences for their patients. Those patients and/or families who feel as though such doctor negligence has contributed to their suffering may choose to initiate legal action against their providers. Such action may be much more effective with the help of a personal injury attorney.

Source: Walker County jury awards woman $4 million in medical malpractice case” Kent Faulk, Aug. 20, 2014

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