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Negligent medical care leads to death of young woman

Few things are more difficult to comprehend or accept than when one's symptoms and complaints are essentially ignored by hospital personnel. Even worse is when that lack of attention and hospital error causes an otherwise healthy person to die.

What happened to a 22-year-old woman in New York could happen anywhere, even here at home in Michigan. One night while working on a school paper, the woman drank some beer and took Ephedra, a diet drug that also works as a stimulant. She began to feel sick and suspected that she may have inadvertently poisoned herself. She called the Poison Control Center. The Poison Control operator dismissed her complaints and told her to take an ambulance to the hospital, which she did.

At the hospital, despite vomiting and complaints of dizziness, she was given a sedative and left alone in a room. Apparently no one bothered to record her vital signs, and her racing heartbeat and foaming at the mouth also went overlooked. That night, brain damage set in.

She went into a coma and died six days later.

The medical record clearly showed a lack of proper monitoring and egregious hospital error.

A medical expert stated that the doctors failed to intubate the woman, failed to give her oxygen and failed to transfer her to intensive care.

Unfortunately, negligent medical care and hospital errors can happen anywhere at any time. Michigan residents who suspect that a hospital mistake or medical malpractice caused injury or the death of a loved one may be entitled to compensation under the law.

Source: New York Times, "The Short Life and Lonely Death of Sabrina Seelig," Anemona Hartocollis, July 28, 2012

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