Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Stamford, Connecticut

Cardiac arrest is probably the most severe medical crisis that can occur. It is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function that will cause a patient to lose consciousness, stop normal breathing and lose pulse and blood pressure. Irreversible brain damage and death will occur within minutes if the patient does not receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A patient can go into cardiac arrest even with no known prior medical history of coronary artery disease. The most common cause of cardiac arrest is heart disease although cardiac arrest can also be caused by respirattorney failure, electrocution, choking, trauma and a constellation of other serious medical problems.

The American Heart Association estimates that more than 95% of patients who go into cardiac arrest die before reaching the hospital. Irreversible consequences of cardiac arrest can be delayed by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the survival rate can be improved for patients who receive an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation) quickly. It is said that the survival rate drops 7-10% for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation.

Many of us are familiar with medical shows depicting patients who go into cardiac arrest in a hospital setting. We know that if a healthcare professional calls a “Code”, “Code Blue” or “Code Red”, everyone drops everything and races to the patient’s aid with a “crash cart” and the paddles are charged, everyone is told to stand “clear” and the defibrillator charge is administered. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work.

What happens if there isn’t enough trained staff to deal with a cardiac arrest in a timely fashion? A study published in the February 20, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association documents that patients who experience cardiac arrest in hospitals on nights and weekends have less of a chance of survival and less of a chance of avoiding medical complications than do similar patients whose cardiac arrest occurs during normal work hours. Many patients who survive cardiac arrest but who are not resuscitated properly are left with major functional disabilities and enormous medical bills. If your loved one had the misfortune of dying or suffering lasting permanent consequence including brain injury due to a hospital’s failure to timely respond to cardiac arrest, then it may be appropriate to consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Should the circumstances warrant, please contact the lawyers at Casper & de Toledo in Stamford, Connecticut.