Physician’s Assistant and Family Practice
On April 30, 2012, the patient’s wife called the clinic where the family-practice provider was working that day. The patient’s wife reported that her husband had called from his work site and reported having chest and back pain that was “immobilizing.” The patient’s wife said he’d told her it might be a heart attack. The nurse who took the call told the patient’s wife that the patient needed to go to the Emergency Room immediately, because if it was a heart attack, time was of the essence.
The family-practice provider never saw the patient, nor did he speak with any of the patient’s family. The patient presented to an Emergency Clinic at approximately 2:15 p.m. on April 30, 2012. He was seen by a physician’s assistant. The records for this visit show that the patient presented with back pain, but no mention of heart or chest issues was made. The examination was consistent with thoracic spinal pain, and only that. The patient was discharged home with instructions for dealing with the back pain and a prescription for Tylenol III and Flexeril. On May 1, 2012, at 8:39 a.m., the patient’s wife left a message for the family-practice provider requesting a referral for an MRI. The provider declined, requesting to examine the patient before ordering an MRI.
On May 9, 2012, the patient presented to an Urgent Care facility at 8 p.m., reporting breathing problems with chest pain. This problem was stated to have been present for two hours and the patient was noted to have “no personal history of heart disease.” It was recommended that the patient be taken to the Emergency Room. The patient was transported to the hospital, where he died of an extensive anterior-wall myocardial infarction secondary to severe coronary artery disease.
Robert Weber, MD, Cardiology
Samuel LeBaron, MD, Family Practice
Donald Schreiber, MD, Emergency Medicine
Scott O’Halloran and Deanna White
Peter McGough, MD, Family Practice
Robert Bersin, MD, Cardiology
Jacob Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine
Defense verdict; jury trial