An ER doctor who refused a head CT scan to a patient who died later has been convicted of murder


It is one of the few cases in which a doctor is criminally convicted of medical error. your hospital has been acquitted

Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja (Madrid), where the events took place.
Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja (Madrid), where the events took place.

The woman doesn’t understand anything. Her husband, 61 years old and with circulatory difficulties, was in the emergency room of one of Madrid’s main private hospitals after a fall and a head injury, and remained half unconscious, with the dire condition requiring him to take Syntrom. There was, the well-known anticoagulant, which favors the appearance of bleeding. It was Sunday night. She and her daughters were chatting with the ER doctor and, as stated, did not understand.

-But we have to get a CT scan of the head, right?

– No, ma’am, it’s not like that.

“And then my daughters and I felt helpless, because although we’re not doctors, we understood that we had to see if the fall caused bleeding,” FV says. “He did one whenever he fell. Actually, the doctor who came at eight in the morning [ya el lunes] First of all they asked for CAT scan…”.

it was late. The CT showed a low level of consciousness, and by the time the man was transferred to the neurosurgery operating room, he was brain dead. Indeed, the TAC was mandatory and mandatory, and it is now deemed by the Criminal Court No. 11 of Madrid, which, for less serious negligence, has sentenced the doctor to manslaughter for a fine of two months and 15 days, and a fine of 115,759 euros. Compensation.

It is one of the few cases in which a physician is convicted by criminal proceedings for medical error. The incidents happened in December 2007, but the defendant was in search for some time and the judicial outcome has been delayed by 15 years.

I had to act humbly. I’m not a doctor, how do I tell him what to do?

widow of the deceased

everything happened in Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja, who, however, has been judicially acquitted completely. The family was represented by lawyer Carlos Sardinero, one of Spain’s leading experts in health law, on behalf of the Patient Ombudsman Association. The sentence, which is dated May 3, is appealable.

“That night,” she tells el mundo fv, “both of my daughters and I were with my husband in the hospital. And you can’t imagine the helplessness we felt. We understand that they are well for him. were not serving, even We considered getting her out of there and taking her [el hospital de La Paz]But we were afraid he would die in the ambulance, It took me something like humility to accept what the man said. I’m not a doctor, how do I tell him what to do? But when the morning shift man came and said the first thing to do was to do a CAT scan, we realized we were right.”

After deciding that the test should be performed at 8:30 am, the CT was performed at 10:15 am and showed a ‘Glasgow’ of eight theoretically recoverable. But when he was going to intervene at two o’clock in the afternoon, the situation was already dire. “But, do you know what the doctor did at night, when we were still in the emergency room? He came in and asked us: ‘What, is he better?’ For us! He asked us if he was better!”.

The man arrived at the hospital with symptoms of loss of consciousness, relaxation of sphincters, tremors and fever. He had collapsed two days ago and his family watched him grow from bad to worse. The condemned person limited himself to superficially searching for it, and in addition to not requesting a CT scan, he also did not determine adequate control during the night: “They came in at four in the morning to take out the serum and we never knew why,” FV says.

The sentence also establishes that the inaction of the guilty person, the fact of not conducting the trial which could have saved the patient, makes it impossible to know what the actual loss of opportunity was, as it may not have been known.

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