On March 29, a judge approved a settlement agreement between Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and the family of a woman who had slipped into a coma in 2015. The settlement stated that the hospital will pay $3.8 million for the medical malpractice case.
Misdiagnosis and malpractice
The family of the woman claimed that the hospital did not properly treat her for her diabetic complication. When the woman arrived at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on Feb. 25, 2015, she was having trouble breathing. Court documents showed that her blood sugar was dangerously high, indicating that she was suffering from a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.
However, instead of treating the woman for her condition, hospital staff decided to administer a narcotic and discharge the woman. After being discharged, the woman collapsed and slipped into a coma in the emergency room.
The family cited their socio-economic status as a reason for the mistreatment. This is also not the first medical malpractice case that has involved the hospital.
What this case shows
Medical professionals are not always infallible. While the family claims that the hospital actively denied them treatment because of their insurance status, it could very well be that the doctors genuinely did not notice the problem and decided that she was fine. In either case, the actions that the hospital staff took were irresponsible and caused the family to lose their mother and wife.
Whether it is to treat us for an illness, operate on our bodies or deliver our children, we entrust a great amount of responsibility to our medical professionals. Their engagement in malpractice can have severe consequences for us and our families.