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Widow sues 2 New York hospitals for husband dying twice

Oct 19, 2015 | Doctor Errors

A widow filed a medical malpractice suit against two hospitals in Buffalo after one emergency room doctor pronounced her husband dead when he was still alive. She says that her husband might still be alive had the medical team paid attention to her.

According to the lawsuit, the 46-year-old husband suffered an apparent heart attack in October 2014 at a grocery store. He was transported to DeGraff Memorial Hospital, and only minutes after arriving, the emergency room doctor declared him dead. When the widow arrived, she was told that he had passed. She claims that the doctor said it could look as though he was still breathing. When she told the doctor that her husband turned his eyes toward her and was responding to her, the doctor basically told her that it was normal.

However, the widow says that she continued to see life in her husband, such as throwing his right arm and leg over, trying to hug her. She sent some family members to get the doctor, who told her that this was normal because her husband was only 46. Two hours following the husband being declared dead, the doctor finally checked his vital signs, at which time the doctor heard a pulse.

The next morning, the husband was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center, where he was declared dead again. According to the widow’s attorney, the husband suffered a collapsed lung, probably because of the CPR efforts of a bystander, and suffered respiratory failure since he did not receive medical attention for such a long time.

Patients and families who believe that they have suffered emotional, financial and physical trauma because of emergency room errors could file malpractice lawsuits against the doctors, other medical staff and facilities responsible. Such legal action may be too complex for patients and families to handle alone, so they might seek the assistance of legal counsel.

Source: WGRZ, "Widow Files Medical Malpractice Suit After Husband Dies Twice," Kelly Dudzik, Oct. 14, 2015