If I did not receive adequate treatmentby several ER doctors due to a previous addictionand suffered as a result, do I have a case?

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If I did not receive adequate treatmentby several ER doctors due to a previous addictionand suffered as a result, do I have a case?

I went to the ER 7 times in 5 days and was told every time that nothing was wrong with me. My ankle hurt me so badly that I knew that something was wrong but the only test that was run at the 3different ER’s was an X-ray that showed my ankle was not broken. I knew it wasn’t broken but it hurt so bad, I no longer was able to walk. I need to tell you that I am a recovering addict and have been clean for 4 years. I take Suboxone which it is important to tell my health professionals because when I need pain medicine, it has to be given it in a special way. As a result of this, I believe I was discriminated against several times by several different doctors. In fact, on my last visit to the ER, I was told by a certain doctor that if I were drugseeking, I was at the wrong hospital to be doing it at. Now, in the 7 times I visited the ER, my vitals were never run nor was any blood taken to see if something was wrong. Later in the evening of my 7th visit, I called an ambulance because, not only did my ankle hurt, but I knew something was really wrong withme. I was admitted to the ICU that evening, with a fever of 103 degrees. I was transported after 2 days of stabilizing me to a better hospital and stayed there for 2 1/2 weeks. During that time, I almost lost my foot due to having a bone infection. If the ER doctors would have acted sooner, this may not have been an issue. I then went onto a nursing home for 5 weeks to have IV antibiotics administered to me twice a day. The more I think about it, the madder I get. I was really very sick and because I am a recovering addict, no one thought that I was really sick. They thought I was just another drug seeker and the last doctor told me as much. Is there something that I can do about this?I went in to the ICU that evening with my blood CRP (a blood test letting you know if there is inflamation in your system) of 117. The normal range is 0-5. Also, another blood test for the same thing is called a sedrate. Mine was 150. Normal is 0-30. I was so obviously sick if they would have just ran the blood tests on me. Should I speak with a medical malpractice attorney? In Rapides County, LA.

Asked on August 22, 2010 under Personal Injury, Louisiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should speak with an attorney in your area that specializes in negligence and medical malpractice as to the treatment - or lack of treatment - you received and if there are any resulting damages that you can sue for.  You should also speak with the attorney about filing complaints with the state about the lack of basic care that you received.  But a lawsuit may be enough to get their attention to their "protocol" here.  The statement made by the doctor as to your being a drug seeker were out of line at the least.  You will need to get copies of your medical records (the attorney can also do that on your behalf) from all the facilities.  The consultation should be free.  There is a saying that you "take your plaintiff as you find him," meaning that the condition of a person does not make your duty to act responsibly or your responsibility for causing an injury that resulted in damages any less under the law.  Good luck.


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