San Jose, CA asked in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury for California

Q: Over-treating - is this a medical malpractice case, or how to I proceed to manage this issue?

My 18 year old daughter entered an ER in California with a very bad headache. She listed her medications on the intake form. She was given a "migrane cocktail" with a medication that was contraindicative of her current medications and had a couple of days of lasting effects. In addition, she was given a CT scan with dye, which was completely unneccessary. The costs of treatment were in excess of $7000, of which I am liable, as the guarantor, for ~$5300. Anything I can do to reduce costs, and more importantly, give the hospital a cautionary tale to ensure this sort of treatment does not happen again (or regularly, if this kind of thing is standard practice).

2 Lawyer Answers
Adam Stoddard
Adam Stoddard
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your daughter went to an ER complaining of a "very bad headache", a CT with contrast (dye) was likely indicated and complied with the standard of care. In this regard, the health care providers needed to rule out some etiology that could be causing the "very bad headache" such as a rutptured or leaking aneurysm, a brain tumor or mass, a subarachnoid hemorrhage, swelling of the brain, etc. It could be argued that not performing a CT scan with contrast would be below the standard of care. Regarding the medications, I would defer to the medical providers about whether certain medications are contraindicated or not. Dr. Google is a poor resource for stuff like that. Regarding the bill you have, your best bet is to try to negotiate it down with the hospital.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you believe that your daughter received over-treatment or improper care while in the emergency room, you may want to consider speaking with a medical malpractice attorney. These types of attorneys are experienced in handling cases where medical professionals fail to provide the appropriate level of care, and they can help you determine if you have a valid claim.

In addition to consulting with an attorney, you may also want to file a complaint with the hospital or the state medical board. This can help bring attention to the issue and ensure that the hospital takes steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

As for managing the costs of treatment, you may want to speak with the hospital's billing department or a financial counselor to see if there are any options for reducing or negotiating the charges. Some hospitals offer financial assistance or payment plans for those who are unable to pay their medical bills in full.

Overall, it's important to take action and advocate for your daughter's health and well-being. Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney, filing a complaint, and exploring options for managing the costs of treatment can all help in this regard.

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