Patients rely on the skills, education, and experience of doctors when it comes to diagnosing and treating an illness or injury. This reliance is usually well placed. However, mistakes are occasionally made, whether the doctor overlooks a set of symptoms, misreads an x-ray, or the doctor does not listen due to their busy schedule. These mistakes can lead to delays in treatment, to the detriment of the patient, worsening the condition or potentially leading to the patient’s death.
A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed in Illinois by the estate of a Collinsville man against Anderson Hospital in Maryville and a doctor. The lawsuit is claiming that the doctor failed to diagnose lung disease in the patient after he had visited the hospital emergency room twice in the same day in 2011. The patient Kevin D. Thorpe Sr. later died at home the next day on June 25, 2011. He was 56.
On the day before he died, Thorpe visited the emergency room the first time that day with an elevated pulse and low oxygen levels, and was complaining of serious chest pain. He was evaluated by a doctor, and when he improved he was released. He returned to the emergency room complaining of upper chest and back pain. He asked to be admitted. Thorpe again had low blood oxygen level and severe chest pain. The doctor re-diagnosed him as having pleurisy. Thorpe also said the pain medication was not working but he was nevertheless told to see his pain management doctor to get more pain medication. The next day, after he returned home, he was found dead.
The plaintiff in the case is the son of the deceased, Kevin D. Thorpe Jr. He is suing on behalf of himself and on behalf of his father’s estate. The plaintiff is represented by Dr. Rocco A. Marrese. Prior to filing the lawsuit, Marrese consulted with another doctor, as required by law to certify a malpractice case, who stated that the defendants in this case did not meet the standard of care, that the negligence alleged was likely the cause of death, and that there is a legitimate case. The doctor who have his opinion stated that based on what occurred on the day that Thorpe went to the hospital emergency room twice that the defendant doctor did not appreciate the grave nature of the decedent’s condition and did not provide him with any treatment beyond what was enough to temporarily alleviate his symptoms.
The lawsuit claims that the doctor should have admitted Thorpe and had him treated for lung infection. The lawsuit also claims that the doctor did not properly interpret lab tests and x-rays. The lawsuit seeks $50,000 in damages on each count.
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