My brother passed away with heart failure while in hospital. My brother was HIV positive and a IV drug user. He was in hospital for cellulitis and blocked intestine. Around day 2 or 3 in the hospital the doctor and nurses found dirty needles in his possession. The doctor ordered No visitors and 24 x 7 security watch outside his door to prevent any further issues with drugs. They decided to do surgery to clear an absesis (sp). My brother asked the doctors to allow "his nephew" to come and visit. The doctor told him ok but with supervised visit. The doctors allowed this. On Oct 25th at 6:15 am the doctor checked his vital signs. they were ok, at 6:30 am he went into code & passed away. The doctor told me that they found his IV tube pulled out. The doctor told me that he found out that the visitor was allowed in on Friday Oct 24th unsupervised visit and the security guard was not at door. They believe the visitor gave him drugs which caused heart failure. Is this malpractic
Thank you for the chance to assist and sorry for you loss
This is a tough question.
Medical Malpractice claims require three things.
1. You need to show that there existed a duty between the doctor and the patient. That is, the doctor owed the patient a particular standard of car. This is typically established though expert testimony from people who are familiar with the practice (doctors)
2. You will need to show that the duty was breached...that the doctor took some action or failed to take some action that caused his care to fall below the standard.
3. You need to demonstrate damages...that the patient was harmed in some way. Here this seems clear, if this affects your ability to earn a living, it seems a significant harm.
From your description, it appears that the doctors knew that there was an issue presented to the hospital that your brother may have been continuing to use illegal drugs. Normally, if he did so and caused his own death the hospital would not be liable. However, since the hospital took steps to prevent this action...then arguably became negligent in enforcing the steps it took...you may actually have a case.
TO determine how strong, you really need to talk with a medical malpractice attorney. For this unique circumstance, you want to talk to a local attorney with lots of experience in this are...to determine you need to work with medical experts who know...again this is why you need to sit down with a med mal attorney who can tell you if you have a case.
In finding the right lawyer...Talk to several...find out there experience with such cases and their record. Talk to former clients to verify they were happy. Its a buyers market, pick a lawyer who can fight for you.
Here is a start
Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get paid.
12 Years experience in the law
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