$450,000 Settlement for the Wrongful Death of a Patient Who Died Allegedly Because the Emergency Room Physician Chose Not to Adequately and Thoroughly Review an EKG

This confidential settlement took place because of the death of a 62- year-old man who had a long history of smoking. He was also obese. The patient, who we will call Mr. Doe, suffered lethargy, a fever and general weakness, and he also had sharp chest pain for two days. He went to a hospital emergency room. It was there that he underwent testing that included an EKG. The report on the EKG was normal.

Mr. Doe was diagnosed as having a virus, and he was discharged with instructions to follow up with his primary care physician.

Three days later, he suffered tachycardia, which is shortness of breath and chest burning. Mr. Doe was taken to the hospital where an EKG showed evidence of myocardial infarction, a heart attack. Before he could be transferred to a different hospital, he died. He was survived by his wife.

Mr. Doe’s wife brought a lawsuit against the emergency room doctor who had seen him 3 days before his death. The lawsuit claimed that the doctor failed to adequately interpret the first EKG, which showed evidence of myocardial ischemia. Myocardial ischemia is caused by a critical coronary artery obstruction. This condition has also been referred to as atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is known to be the leading cause of death worldwide and is the second most common cause of emergency room visits in the United States.

The lawsuit also alleged that the doctor did not order additional testing such as another series of EKGs and serum cardiac enzymes. There was also a claim that Mr. Doe was not referred to a cardiologist. Cardiac enzymes are a way to study and measure the levels of enzymes and proteins linked with an injury to the heart muscle such as might occur after a heart attack. The enzyme creatine kinase and the proteins troponin I and troponin T are the basics in measuring the levels of enzymes and proteins.

The lawsuit did not include any lost time claimed by Mr. Doe. Before trial the parties settled confidentially for $450,000. The attorneys representing the Doe family were Patrick T. Jones and Donna R. Corcoran.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, emergency room physician negligent cases and birth trauma cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Winfield, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Justice, Hickory Hills, Palos Heights, Orland Park, Calumet Park, Blue Island, Chicago (Archer Heights, Washington Heights, Roseland, Lake Calumet, Riverdale, Lawndale), Northlake and Des Plaines, Ill.

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