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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23191
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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neglect imprisonment cruel and unusal punishment

Customer Question

im a care taker for a gentlemen with an extensive history cardiac and respiratory,he was sent by ambulance to an admitting hospital with DX of pleural effusion from heart failure stable  sent to floor.My friend calls me next morning said they tied him down I went up there and they said he was confused during the night.I asked my friend he said that with his shaking and all pulse ox probe wouldn't stay on his finger setting off the alarms and he said he woke up tied up had to pee called for help and eventually untied himself after peeing on staff tells me hes a PCO2 retainer with level at 84..staff denies restraining him.Next day samething but they admitted it this time tied him down for 3hrs with recent spinal surgery old fx and cant breath.hes traumatized i mentioned CPAP BIPAP everyday i saw him to staff.then on 3rd day he has a pneumothorax finally in ICU 3days later.they pump him up with steroids plus being a CO2 retainer makes him state of panic given his levels.Hes hard of hearing they say he was combative so they did what they had too.this guy is alert and orient x3 mind you given his condition plus the steriods why the extreme of tying him up he just needed alittle reassurance and compassion.Also i feel it was punishment because he did report a fall there 2months prior.I work as a critical care medic 20yrs and i think this was cruel and unusal punishment it has exhasterbated his breathing he paranoid he afraid to seek medical treatment he basically bedridden refused to talk to him or document anything.Is it easy for a hospital to alter their documentation they're not using a EMR.And do you think he has a case.  Theres more this is just part of it,,,his lab work on 2nd day indicated he be put in ICU they waited 2 more days and a pneumothorax later..also what would i need to pursue this if by chance he dies from his injuries? I aint letting this rest 
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

I hope that by now, this gentleman is out of the ICU and headed towards recovery. But as your question involved the worst case scenario, I will address that.

Should he die from these injuries his family would potentially have a wrongful death suit. You would not have the legal standing to sue on his behalf, although you could, and should alert his family to what happened here so that they could consult with a lawyer and determine how viable a claim against the hospital they had.

You could also share your concerns directly with the police and/or with the state prosecutor's office if you believe that the negligence of the staff rose to the level of a reckless disregard for human life.

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