Teen Dies after an Overdose, but Early Release Raises Questions

mm1Desiree Gonzales, 17, died after an overdose of heroin in Santa Fe. Though she was hospitalized with overdose symptoms and treated she was medically cleared from Christus St. Vincent for transfer to a juvenile detention center. There the staff found her unresponsive the next morning and rushed her to the hospital. However, the medical staff at the hospital was unable to revive her.

Those familiar with the treatment procedures for a heroin overdose question the hospital’s treatment of the teen. They say that when a patient in brought in after a heroin overdose and treated they need to be observed for long as once the antidote wears off the overdose symptoms can recur. They claim that the hospital should have held her under observation overnight instead of medically releasing her after one and a half hours of treatment. Additionally, given the fact that the patient was very young, she should not have been released until she had clearly recovered.

Well, she should not have consumed drugs in the first place. But the hospital did make a mistake. Perhaps they had patients that were in dire straits that did not choose to ruin their bodies and mind.

Medical Errors

When a person is brought to hospital for treatment, the expectation is that the medical personnel take all the steps needed to ensure their complete recovery. This means that even if a person has consumed an overdose of a narcotic, they are entitled to proper treatment from the hospital personnel. When this does not happen and the patient suffers an adverse reaction as a consequence then it is possible to bring a case of medical malpractice against the hospital and the doctors attending to the patent.mm3

Medical Malpractice Proof

If you suspect that a loved one died because of medical errors you are entitled to file a case of wrongful death because of medical malpractice and ask for compensation. For this you need to first retain the services of a medical malpractice lawyer who can help you assess the evidence and either obtain the compensation from the malpractice insurance provider or file a case in court.mm2

In order to prove medical malpractice the lawyer will first establish a patient doctor relationship. This is typically done using medical bills or medical records where the doctor has made comments about the patient’s health. The next step is to prove that the medical treatment provided was not to the acceptable standard of care expected. For this the lawyer will consult with other medical experts and determine the standard procedure under the given circumstances and show that the medical treatment provided deviated from this.

Final Evidence

Finally, the lawyer also has to prove that the negligent medical care provided to the patient adversely affected the patient. In a wrongful death case, the lawyer has to show that the death of the patient was caused by the medical negligence and not by any other factor. Again, this can be done by the lawyer obtaining testimony from other medical experts about the consequences of the medical negligence. The post mortem report that outlines the cause of death of the patient will also be used as evidence to prove the medical malpractice case.

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