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Emergency Room Standard of Care; Failure to Diagnose and Delay in the Treatment of a Head Injury ~ part one

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In my last two blog posts, part 1 and part 2, I told you about a mother of two (2), age 36, who was in relatively good health, who was seen in the Emergency Room (ER) for a relatively minor injury, and then later presented in the ER for chest pains and released without a confirmation of what was causing the chest pains, and said release being a breach of the ER Standard of Care that ultimately led to her being permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

The other issue that I have discussed in my prior blog posts is that in Georgia the burden of proof on the Plaintiff in ER Medical Malpractice cases has now risen from negligence to gross negligence, which has made some attorneys reluctant to take on ER Medical Malpractice cases since there have been few, if any, Plaintiff's verdicts in Georgia since the burden of proof has placed this higher standard on the Plaintiff of showing gross negligence on part of the Defendant to prevail in a Medical Malpractice case involving the ER.

I wanted to illustrate that although the burden of proof on the Plaintiff has held the bar higher with having to prove gross negligence, there is still a Standard of Care in Emergency Room case in Georgia. I also discuss this in my prior blog post about the Standard of Care in removing the back brace in an ER situation part one and part two.

I want to further show that there is a Standard of Care in ER by outlining some of the major questions that would be asked in evaluating whether the Standard of Care in an ER case in GA was deviated from in a Failure to Diagnose and Delay in Treatment of a Head Injury.

Not only is it important to be familiar with these, and other, questions in these types of cases for ER Medical Malpractice purposes, this is very important to understand in personal injury cases as well as in many personal injury cases a head injury, along with a spinal cord injury, is very, if not the most, common injury.

The following are some of the first set of questions that should be asked and answered, and why they are important, in determining whether or not the Standard of Care was breached in the Failure to Diagnose and Delay in the Treatment of a Head Injury in the ER:

1.) Q: What was the Patient's Glasgow Coma Score?

Why is this important? The standard internationally accepted measurement of consciousness is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), in which patients are awarded points based on criteria such as eye opening, best verbal response, and best motor response.

2.) Q: Was a Patent Airway Maintained?

Why is this important? The pre-hospital provider's first task is to secure the patient's airway because if the airway is not secure, emergent basic airway management needs to be performed as soon as possible.

I will continue this discussion in my next blog post titled, "Emergency Room Standard of Care; Failure to Diagnose and Delay in the Treatment of a Head Injury ~ part two," with some more questions that should be asked and answered in a Medical Malpractice Case in evaluating whether or not the Standard of Care was breached in the Failure to Diagnose and Delay in the Treatment of a Head Injury in the ER.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts in Medical Malpractice cases whether or not said cases involve the ER so please Contact Us for your free legal consultation if you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence of a healthcare provider whether or not it was in the ER or otherwise. We are here to assist you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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