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Stroke victim’s family sue paramedics who claimed man was drunk

Individuals, who experience a medical emergency while at home, readily rely upon paramedics to quickly diagnosis and provide emergency medical treatment and transportation to a hospital. In many cases, paramedics are credited with preventing a patient from suffering additional injury and even saving a patient’s life.

Unfortunately, there are cases in which responding paramedics fail to properly diagnose and treat individuals in need of medical care. The family of one deceased man, who contend paramedics failed to treat their loved one, recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital at which the paramedics work.

According to the lawsuit, the man’s wife dialed 911 around 3 a.m. after waking to find her husband unable to speak. Upon arriving, members of the hospital’s paramedic team assessed the man and believed his inability to speak was a result of drinking too much. Despite assertions from the man’s wife that her husband had not had an alcoholic drink for more than 12 hours, paramedics left the couple’s home without treating the man.

Around 7 a.m. the woman again dialed 911 after her husband was still unable to speak. Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors determined that the man had indeed suffered a stroke. As a result of the delay in diagnosis and treatment, the man failed to receive medications and treatments that could have potentially saved his life. Subsequently, the man died about two months after suffering the initial stroke.

Illinois individuals or families who have been adversely impacted by a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose may choose to take legal action. Many medical conditions require prompt medical intervention and care. A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can result in those impacted suffering permanent and debilitating injuries.

Source: The Louisiana Record, “Hospital sued after emergency personnel allegedly misdiagnosed stroke victim as being under influence of alcohol,” Kyle Barnett, Dec. 12, 2013


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