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Infections, errors may spark malpractice lawsuit

A woman in a different state claims that medical professionals mistakenly took her sick brother to the wrong nursing home hundreds of miles away and then back again following his discharge from a hospital. Her brother ended up dying from sepsis as well as pneumonia. She has filed a medical malpractice suit. If an individual in West Virginia loses a loved one due to infections or other medical problems resulting from medical negligence, legal action may be appropriate.

In the recent out-of-state case, the woman's brother, who was 54, was taken to the hospital from a nursing home for treatment of pneumonia and sepsis. At the time, he was suffering from several health conditions, including diabetes, end-stage renal disease, pressure sores, stroke and malnutrition. After he was discharged from the medical center, his blood pressure was reportedly low.

Upon the man's release, he also had an elevated white blood cell count and pulse. The man was then accidentally transported to another nursing home over 300 miles away. Once he got there, the nursing home refused to admit him. Thus, the man ended up spending over 12 hours riding in an ambulance, during which time he was ill and in serious pain. He was later taken to another hospital and passed away.

Health care providers in West Virginia are expected to exercise a reasonable degree of care when taking care of patients. If they fail to do so and a patient ends up dying, his or her family members may choose to file liability claims against the health care providers. Liability in cases involving infections and other health problems must be established to the satisfaction of the civil court hearing the case before claims for specified damages will be adjudicated.

Source: augusta.com, "Sister sues hospital, doctor and ambulance service alleging negligence in brother's treatment", Sandy Hodson, Jan. 19, 2017

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