Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Negligence suit filed against Pennsylvania Geisinger hospitals

A Pittsburgh physician cannot fully evaluate a health condition by dismissing a patient's complaints. Anyone who has suffered from a headache knows the source may be due to physical pain, illness, allergies or stress. Symptoms contribute to a diagnosis, but are not the sole indicators of a patient's health condition.

A Pennsylvania woman's lawsuit claims her adult daughter died needlessly last year. The 26-year-old patient visited Geisinger hospitals several times complaining of a severe headache. The plaintiff said the doctors either refused to test or failed to detect a serious but "entirely treatable" clot, that led to brain hemorrhaging and death.

The young mother of two visited the Berwick Hospital emergency room twice on March 19.

A CT scan was performed during the initial visit, but an independent radiologist determined nothing was wrong. The patient, whose symptoms persisted, was admitted to the hospital later that night and discharged the following day.

The patient's headache continued along with episodes of vision, hearing and balance problems. The woman reported dizziness, tremors, vomiting and limb numbness when she visited another Geisinger facility March 22. A discharge was ordered without any testing.

The woman went back to Berwick Hospital the next day, where a second CT scan was done. She was discharged March 26. The patient died of a massive brain hemorrhage within hours of returning to a Geisinger emergency room on April 1.

This is not the first medical malpractice suit filed recently against Geisinger. In January, the family of a West Pittston woman claimed the hospital group was negligent for misdiagnosing their relative's fatal brain bleeding condition. The woman also had gone to a Geisinger hospital with a headache.

Professional standards oblige doctors to diagnose patients' conditions using every medical means possible. Anything less than a health care provider's full effort to test or treat a patient may be considered hospital or doctor negligence.

Source: The CItizens' Voice, "Geisinger hospitals accused of negligent care" Bob Kalinowski, Feb. 06, 2014

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