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Medical center under fire after patient dies in lobby

A family recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a U.S. hospital after their loved one died in the facility’s waiting room over the summer. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month, staff at the hospital did not even notice that the man had died until the following morning.

Even though the man’s body had gone ignored for several hours, the hospital maintains that it did everything it could to provide the man with adequate medical treatment.

On June 26, the 38-year-old man had been brought to the hospital in an ambulance. The man complained of chest pains, and a medical evaluation showed an abnormal EKG. Instead of admitting the man so that medical staff could continue to evaluate his condition, the hospital told the man that he could go home. Staff also advised the man to schedule a follow-up appointment with his physician.

When the man was released, he went to the facility’s lobby because he did not immediately have a way of getting home. While waiting for someone to pick him up, the man passed away. The man was found the next morning after his apparent death, and officials say rigor mortis had already set in when he was discovered. Emergency personnel rushed him into a treatment room, but their care was administered too late. The man had died of a heart attack.

The death of a loved one is never easy to accept, but this man’s death could have possibly been avoided. He sought medical treatment because he knew something was wrong. Unfortunately, he did not receive the type of care he needed.

Source: The News Journal, “Beebe sued after hospital patient discharged, dies in lobby,” Sean O’ Sullivan, Sept. 20, 2012

  • Our firm represents clients in medical malpractice and negligence matters, including wrongful death. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Will County medical malpractice page.

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