A Texas family has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Excel ER, an emergency room chain. The lawsuit follows a series of events that would change their lives in the worst way possible. In a startling example of how a missed diagnosis can end in tragedy, Excel ER may be facing more than a single lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice Alleged after Tragic Misdiagnosis
The tragic events this Texas family suffered began in August 2016 when their 4-year-old daughter became ill. A high fever, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing led her parents to take her to Excel ER. Excel operates freestanding emergency rooms. There, the toddler’s vitals were checked and blood drawn. She was given fluids and a prescription for an antibiotic, and was sent home.
Five hours later, her parents found her in her bed, her body cold and blue, and vomit on her face. They rushed her back to Excel ER where she was declared in full cardiopulmonary arrest. The emergency room team was unable to save her life.
Just one day after her death, an autopsy was performed. The primary cause of death was listed as bacterial meningitis. Left untreated, bacterial meningitis can become fatal in a matter of hours, like in this case.
Lawsuit Filed Alleges Multiple Mistakes and Negligence
In response to the tragedy, the girl’s parents filed a lawsuit claiming that Excel ER and it’s providers failed to properly evaluate the child and improperly discharged her home instead of to a hospital. The emergency room doctor failed to detect bacterial meningitis.
The doctor who treated the child was a medical resident, who should have been supervised by an attending physician, but the lawsuit states that the parents were not notified that they had only been seen by a trainee. Not only does the lawsuit raise questions about the actions of this particular doctor, but also staffing and oversight at Excel ER’s in general. It is claimed that Excel ER failed to provide “appropriately qualified and experienced physicians”, and claims it did not do its part in elevating the situation with the sick child when the physician trainee did not.
Experts Weigh In on Negligence
Two experts already interviewed in the case state that the standard of care was not upheld, and that appropriate diagnosis was missed. It was stated that the symptoms would have been obvious and frightening, and that she should have evaluated more thoroughly. Underlying health conditions, such as being deaf and having a cochlear implant, increased the risk of bacterial meningitis, but these factors were not considered in her diagnosis.
Another expert stated that blood work should have been a more prominent factor in her care, as it showed “grossly abnormal white counts and platelets”, which are classic signs of a bacterial infection. Experts state that care the child received “proximately caused her cardiorespiratory arrest and subsequent demise”.
Misdiagnosis and Your Legal Rights
The purpose of this article is not to scare you. But rather, it is to inform you about the real problem facing our healthcare system. Misdiagnosis and medical errors are a huge problem that costs lives every day across the United States. It is important that patients and their loved ones explore their legal rights, understand facility guidelines and regulations, and get the help they need when negligence occurs.
To learn more about your medical malpractice rights, contact Daic Law today. Our goal is to help you understand your rights and get the help you need. Call us at (713) 808-5246, or fill out our online form.