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Failure To Order Cardiology Consult - Death Undisclosed North Carolina Settlement

We tender our thanks to plaintiff's council, Charles Rawlings, for the report of this case. The plaintiff's decedent, age thirty-three, presented to the W.G. (Bill) Henfer VAMC emergency room on December 3, 2019, with complaints of chest and arm pain. He reported coughing up blood. An EKG showed significant changes with PVCs and sinus tachycardia, while a chest x-ray revealed possible consolidation/atelectasis and pleural effusions. The EKG was reviewed and the decedent was examined. No further investigation or treatment took place. No cardiology consult was ordered. Decedent was discharged with instructions to return for follow-up. Decedent returned to the ER on January 11, 2020, with complaints of bilateral lower extremity swelling. EKG demonstrated prolonged QT, PVCs and tachycardia. Liver function tests were elevated, including alk phos of 163, SGOT of 89, SGPT of 387. Six days later he presented for an echocardiogram which showed 15% LVEF and a severely dilated left ventricle. Despite these indications of congestive heart failure, no emergency cardiac consult was ordered. Decedent died at home of congestive heart failure on January 20, 2020. The case settled for an undisclosed sum.

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