When most people think about medical malpractice, they think of specific acts that a doctor takes to cause harm to a patient, e.g. using forceps incorrectly during the delivery of a baby, leaving an object within a patient, and the like. What may be rarely considered, though, is malpractice that is caused not by a doctor’s actions, but rather a doctor’s inaction. For Delfino Cuautle, who lost his leg, and many other patients, inaction has led to significant harm.
Bureaucratic Red Tape and Delays in Patient Treatment
According to an article in NY Daily News, Cuautle would not have lost his leg – as explained in the lawsuit he has filed against Coney Island Hospital – if not for 13 hours’ worth of delays, miscommunications, and “red tape” kept that him receiving the emergency treatment he desperately needed.
As the story goes, Cuautle was hit by a car at around 6:00 a.m. in Coney Island. Within three minutes of receiving the call, emergency medical services were on scene and transported him immediately to Coney Island Hospital. At the hospital, doctors concluded that there was no blood flow to the right leg, and that Cuautle required emergency surgery in order to restore blood flow.
The surgery that Cuautle needed required a vascular surgeon, and one was not currently available at Coney Island Hospital. As such, the hospital tried to get in contact with Kings County Hospital to request a surgeon, but had no luck.
Finally, at around 2:00 p.m., Cuautle was transported to Kings County Hospital for the surgery. The only problem: staff at Coney Island Hospital failed to include test results (like the results of a CT scan illustrating the lack of blood flow) that were necessary for the surgery.
It took until 7:00 p.m. that evening for Cuautle to get the surgery he needed. Tragically, by that time, it was far too late, and his leg could not be saved. Thankfully, Cuautle did not lose his life.
According to the NY Daily News article, all medical professionals involved knew how important it was the Cuautle be treated immediately; a delayed diagnosis of blood flow is the leading cause of amputation when a limb has been seriously injured.
Cuautle Files Medical Malpractice Suit
As expected, Cuautle has filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital, and is seeking $24 million. This is not the first violation that the hospital has faced; earlier this year the hospital received six health department violations for its failure to appropriately treat an elderly woman who was suffering from a brain infection. Rather than getting her the medical help she needed, she was restrained under the misconception that she was “emotionally disturbed.”
Contact a Boston Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Today
A delay in emergency care is never appropriate, regardless of the reason. Even if you do not have health insurance, if you are in need of a life-saving or limb-saving surgery, you deserve to have the surgery performed immediately and competently. If a delay in emergency treatment has led to harm, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. Douglas Lovenberg and his team will work hard on your behalf!