A malpractice case from the Massachusetts Medical Law Report:

A 38-year old patient presented to the emergency room with complaints of chest pain and diaphoresis.

He was hyperventilating and complained that his arm was feeling numb. An EKG revealed ST elevations. Cardiac enzymes were within normal limits.

The emergency room doctor administered 1 mg of Ativan. Several minutes later, the patient was found to be unresponsive, cyanotic and foaming at the mouth. CPR was initiated and the patient was defibrillated without success . . .

. . . The expert planned to testify that standards of care required the emergency room physician to have immediately started thrombolytic therapy after the EKG to help abort the myocardial infarction.

The case was settled for over half a million dollars.


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