According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke ranks as the fifth-most likely cause of death in the United States and causes a permanent disability in countless others. Stroke is treatable, however, but it’s absolutely necessary if someone is experiencing a stroke that they seek immediate care from a specialist like a neurologist. Unfortunately, in a New York neurology malpractice case, D’Orta v. Margaretville Mem. Hosp., the plaintiff alleged that the wait time for treatment of his stroke led to significant disabilities that could have been avoided if the medical professionals had not acted negligently.
The plaintiff was playing cards with his friends in the early morning hours when he collapsed on the floor. The plaintiff had difficulty speaking, his face’s right side drooped, and he lost the use of his hand. His fiancee transported the plaintiff to a local hospital, where he arrived at 2:16 a.m. His collapse occurred an hour earlier, at 1:16 a.m. A physician at the local hospital, a defendant in the lawsuit, advised the plaintiff that he should be transported to a regional hospital with better resources to care for the plaintiff. The plaintiff was transferred to the other hospital and arrived at 4:52 a.m. The hospital consulted with a neurologist about administering TPA, a drug that can dissolve clots in certain stroke patients. However, the neurologist concluded that the plaintiff’s stroke was too severe, and too much time had passed to administer the drug.
The plaintiff named the hospitals and the physicians who provided care, including the neurologist, as defendants in a neurology malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants committed malpractice because they did not administer TPA because the transfer to the second hospital was allegedly not timely. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the lower court denied, and the defendants appealed the decision.