Four Visits To Three ERs In Two Days Without Diagnosis Or Proper Treatment

On July 30, 2012, a woman and her husband filed a medical malpractice case in the Superior Court of California for Contra Costa County against various hospitals including two Kaiser Permanente hospitals, another hospital, and others for their alleged failures to timely diagnose and treat the woman’s headaches that were subsequently found to be due to a brain aneurysm.

Four Visits To Three Hospital Emergency Rooms In Two Days Without Proper Diagnosis Or Treatment

The woman had gone to a local hospital emergency room on May 2, 2011, complaining of a severe headache. The hospital provided the woman with medication but did not provide her with any diagnostic testing to determine the cause of her headache. She returned to the same emergency room the next day because she continued to have an excruciating headache. Once again the emergency room staff provided her with only medication and failed once again to perform any diagnostic testing to determine the cause of her unrelenting headache.

The same day, the woman went to the emergency room of a Kaiser Permanente hospital, seeking relief from her headache, where she waited a long time to be examined by the emergency room staff. The Kaiser Permanente hospital emergency room provided the woman with the same medication that she had received from the other hospital earlier that day and the previous day, and, just like the first hospital, failed to perform any diagnostic testing on the woman.

That same day, the woman went to different Kaiser Permanente hospital emergency room that failed to properly diagnose or treat her medical condition. Days later, the woman returned again to the first hospital and again no diagnostic tests were performed.

Finally, twelve days after her first emergency room visit, she was seen in a fourth hospital emergency room where the staff finally and definitively diagnosed the woman as having suffered a brain aneurysm.

Source: Melanesia Lewis and Charles Lewis v. Kaiser Foundation Hospital, et al. Case No.: C12-01861.

What Is A Brain Aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain that often looks like a berry hanging on a stem. A brain aneurysm can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A hemorrhagic stroke that occurs between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A ruptured aneurysm is life-threatening and requires prompt medical treatment (about 30% of ruptured aneurysms are fatal).

A sudden, severe headache (often described by the patient as his/her “worst headache ever”) is the key symptom of a ruptured aneurysm. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include sudden, extremely severe headache;  nausea and vomiting; stiff neck;  blurred or double vision; sensitivity to light; seizure; a drooping eyelid;  loss of consciousness; and/or confusion.

A “leaking” aneurysm (known as a sentinel bleed) may result in only a sudden, extremely severe headache. A more severe rupture almost always follows the leaking.

Most brain aneurysms do not rupture, create health problems, or cause symptoms. Treatment for an unruptured brain aneurysm may be appropriate in some cases and may prevent a rupture in the future. A large unruptured aneurysm may cause pain above and behind an eye; a dilated pupil; change in vision or double vision; numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of the face; and/or a drooping eyelid.


If you or a family member suffered serious injuries due to hospital negligence, a hospital error, a hospital mistake, or hospital malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. You should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney who may agree to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing and able to represent you in your medical malpractice claim and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate, or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 at 10:16 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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