A California hospital is being sued by a family who says a 73-year-old family member died due to allegedly not receiving proper X-rays in time. The husband and daughter claim the defendant said the deceased had “dementia” and “sent her to hospice care to die,” says news reports. They sued the hospital, a doctor, as well as an emergency room doctor in Tehama County Court for wrongful death, dependent elder abuse, negligence, and pain and suffering.
“During November 2009, the plaintiff was seen by defendants with complaints of sudden onset of headache, vomiting, weakness, memory loss, dehydration, severe pain, dizziness and other neurologic complaints,” the complaint states. “During such time, defendants, and each of them, deliberately ignored and disregarded her complaints and attributed them to dementia.”
“This sudden onset was an abrupt change in her behavior and condition. Instead of performing any diagnostic testing or admitting her to an acute care hospital, the defendants placed her in hospice care, intending that she would remain there until her death from ‘dementia.’ Despite plaintiffs’ pleas to have her admitted to the hospital, to have head imaging performed, other diagnostic testing or consultations with specialists, she was left to languish in severe pain and without any medical care whatsoever until she died. Upon her death, an autopsy was performed at which time it was discovered that she had a traumatic skull fracture with brain injury of the right frontal lobe, none of which was diagnosed or treated by defendants, since they were treating her as a patient with end-stage dementia. It was apparent that prior to her sudden onset of symptoms, she had suffered head trauma which caused her severe brain damage leading to the symptoms that were cavalierly referred to as dementia.”
I look forward to hearing the outcome of this court case.