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  • Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Acute Coronary Syndrome and Immediately Transfer Patient to the ER: Westerman v. IHA Health Services

Sommers Schwartz attorney Matthew Turner filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that the defendant family practice physician did not appreciate the plaintiff’s signs of an acute coronary syndrome with a high risk of an impending cardiac arrest and consequently failed to send the patient to the emergency room for urgent workup.

The complaint alleged that when the defendant saw the plaintiff on January 3, 2022, she should have diagnosed him with an acute coronary syndrome and immediately transferred him to the hospital ER for evaluation, testing, and treatment by a cardiologist. 

One week later, the plaintiff suffered severe physical and mental injuries, including irreparable heart damage following an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack. A STEMI involves a total or nearly total blockage of a coronary artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to part of the heart muscle. Due to the doctor’s failure to send the plaintiff to the ER, where he could be properly and timely tested, he suffered an MI/STEMI requiring a dual chamber implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placement.

Had the defendant immediately transferred the plaintiff, a cardiologist would have appropriately treated his acute coronary syndrome, and a cardiac catheterization would have been performed to detect severe blockages in his arteries. 

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