Doe went to a medical clinic complaining of increased fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. A resident physician allegedly obtained an electrocardiogram (EKG), which was abnormal, and ordered a routine cardiology referral. The resident’s supervising physician allegedly did not see or evaluate Doe.
Four months later, Doe collapsed at home from suspected cardiac arrest. Emergency resuscitation was unsuccessful.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Doe and family alleged that the resident and attending physician chose not to recognize that the EKG findings were consistent with a third-degree heart block, in which the upper chambers of the heart loses communications with the lower chambers. This condition necessitated an urgent referral to a cardiologist for placement of a pacemaker, the plaintiff maintained.