Emergency Room Failure to Diagnose MI

56 year old man presents to ER with complaints of epigastric pain. AN EKG is ordered and interpreted as normal as is an abdominal sonogram. No further cardiac work-up is done. Patient remains in ER for over 12 hours with unremitting epigastric complaints. Presumptive diagnosis of pancreatitis is made, but no definitive diagnosis is ever made. Eventually he is sent for a CT scan. While undergoing scan he suffers cardiac arrest, resuscitative efforts fail and dies. Cause of death is cardiac arrhythmia.

MEDQUEST EXPERT RESPONSES:

Probably MERITORIOUS ….. Records need to be reviewed for actions of caregivers both diagnostically and therapeutically. The patient required cardiac evaluation .Dr IM – ER

Repeat EKG’s and cardiac enzymes should have been undertaken. If the autopsy showed significant occlusive ischemic coronary disease, then this would strengthen the case against the ER doctor. Dr KJ – ER