Case #4043 Misdiagnosis of Angina
On January 3, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent went to the Defendant Emergency Room at the Defendant Hospital complaining of severe chest pain radiating across her chest wall and into her back as well. An EKG taken at this time was absolutely abnormal, and required health care providers caring for her to admit to the hospital with a request for cardiology consultation. However, it is alleged that these Defendants, negligently failed to make a proper diagnosis, and all failed to have the Plaintiffs’ Decedent admitted for required care and treatment. It is asserted that in addition to the radiating chest pain and abnormal EKG, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent suffered with elevated CPK’s and abnormally high blood pressure (178/119). It is asserted that the discharge of the Plaintiffs’ Decedent under these circumstances violated all acceptable standards of care.
On January 4, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent saw the Defendant Primary Care Physician who, at all times referred to herein, was her private care physician. At that time, she advised the Defendant of her history including the fact that she had been suffering with complaints of severe retrosternal burning chest pain. The pain was significant and of recent onset with radiation into her left arm. Additionally, her blood pressure was abnormally elevated. Contrary to the standards of care, the Defendant PCP failed to diagnose the Plaintiffs’ Decedent’s cardiac condition (which was unstable angina), failed to perform an EKG or other tests and studies required, failed to make the required referral to a cardiologist for care and treatment, and failed to refer the Plaintiffs’ Decedent to an emergency room for further care and treatment. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s negligence, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent was simply discharged to her home with instructions to take antacids and return in 7-10 days.
Later, on January 4, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent suffered a massive myocardial infarction, and collapsed at her home. Emergency medical personnel were unable to resuscitate, and the Plaintiffs’ Decedent was pronounced dead at her home at the age of 48.
It is alleged that had these Defendants and each of them conformed with the applicable standards of care and properly interpreted the EKG as well as the signs and symptoms presented by the Plaintiffs’ Decedent, the CPK’s, the blood pressure, and all of her other abnormal signs and symptoms, the Plaintiffs’ Decedent would have been admitted to the hospital with appropriate cardiological consultation. Further, it is asserted that unstable angina would have been diagnosed with proper intervention through medical management, angioplasty, and/or by-pass. Had these Defendants and each of them conformed with the applicable standards of care, it is alleged that the Plaintiffs’ Decedent would never have died on January 4, as alleged hereinabove.