Kannapolis, NC asked in Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice for North Carolina

Q: If the ER didn’t inform me of, or treat me for, a medical condition I have do I have legal grounds to sue the hospital?

I was taken to the emergency room by ambulance a few days ago after going to urgent care with extreme abdominal/lower abdominal pain and intense vomiting. After 6 1/2 hours with no IV, no fluids, a CT scan, and an ultrasound; I was told that there were abnormalities in my left ovaries and fluid in my abdomen. The doctor explained that the fluid in my abdomen was an intestinal virus, prescribed something for nausea and discharged me. I later talked to another doctor from that ER on the phone and questioned why the “abnormalities in my left ovaries” part was not explained to me. I was told that unless the tests showed something that could be life threatening then the ER wasn’t concerned with it and that nothing about my situation was emergent enough for them to treat. Two days later I was diagnosed with PCOS by my personal physician. And with PCOS, if a cyst were to rupture and cause internal bleeding that did not get treated- that would be life threatening.

1 Lawyer Answer

Denise Anderson

Answered
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Concord, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: A person can have legal grounds to sue the hospital, but the important factor is whether the lawsuit will be successful. Based on the facts you provided you would likely not be successful against the hospital because the symptoms you outlined do not rise to adequate damages for a successful claim. Inspite of your diagnosis with PCOS you need to be able to show you suffered damages, as a result of delayed diagnosis and treatment. There was no ruptured cyst, no internal bleeding......there is no reflection of such damages in the information you provided. For the above reasons you would not have a successful claim against the hospital.

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