Failure to Refer Patient to Cardiologist Leads to Death

A 45 year old Connecticut man underwent surgery to treat a brain tumor back in 2013.  Following surgery, the man began experiencing stroke-like symptoms and went to the emergency room where doctors performed an EKG.  That study, designed to look for abnormalities of the heart and heartbeat, indicated abnormalities, however, the emergency room doctor failed to order standard blood tests or cardiac enzyme tests to further investigate the irregularities.  Perhaps more damning, the emergency room physician did not request a cardiology consultation over the course of the next few days.  The man remained in the hospital for several days and then was discharged to home.  Less than 72 hours after he was discharged, the man suffered a massive heart attack that left him in a vegetative state on life support for several weeks.  Ultimately, he passed away.  The man's estate subsequently sued the emergency room physician and the man's primary care physician who had treated him in the hospital after the irregular EKG had been obtained.  The allegations were simply that the abnormal EKG mandated that additional tests be performed because the findings suggested that a minor heart attack had already occurred.  At trial, the man's estate called expert witnesses in the fields of emergency medicine, cardiology and primary care medicine.  Each of these individuals testified that the standard of care required these doctors to bring in a cardiologist, and that if a cardiologist had been consulted, the issues would have been addressed and the man would not have suffered the massive heart attack that he ultimately died from.  The jury ultimately awarded the man's estate $6.3 million.

At STSW, our attorneys routinely handle cases involving allegations that a physician was negligent / committed medical malpractice by failing to order critical tests that could have diagnosed a condition earlier and/or prevented a tragic outcome. Our lawyers appear in cases primarily in the Baltimore and Washington D. C. metro areas.  If you or a loved one have been the victim of a failure to order key tests, call our lawyers for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.