Can a hospital/clinic be held responsible due to a patient getting pneumonia?
Question Details: My husband had foot surgery on the 3rd. They did "not" send us home with a breathing tool to get him through the next few days. On the 4th, he had a temp of 102.9 so we called the on-call doctor for this office. He said not to worry about it as it was caused by the anesthesia. By the next day, my husband couldn't breath and I called the on-call number again and got a different doctor. He said to call 911. My husband had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. During the 9 hours we were in the ER, they determined it was pneumonia. They then proceeded to give him 4 bags of fluid when he was already flooded. I told the ICU doctor what they said about the temperature and he said that was wrong. You don't get a temperature anymore from the anesthesia. Sometime during the night on the 6th, they sedated him and put him on a ventilator in a medically induced coma. They called about 3:30 to tell me this. When I arrived the next day, they hadn't covered him and he was ice cold. I got a thin blanket and covered him. They tried to wean him off the sedation the following and his numbers dropped so they kept him on. The next day when I got there, the nurse had him uncovered and was putting a fan 6' from his bed. She said he was hot and sweaty when she got there so she uncovered him and was cooling him off. Who has the medical responsibility for all this?
Medical malpractice is negligence. The hospital/clinic is liable.
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital/clinic, it may be possible to settle the case with its malpractice insurance carrier. Your husband should obtain his medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss. His claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document treatment and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, no lawsuit is filed.
If your husband is dissatisfied with the settlement offers, he should reject them and sue the hospital/clinic for negligence.
If the case is not settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your husband will lose his rights forever in the matter.