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Jury clears hospitalist of causing death of 60 year old from acute pancreatitis.

A 60 year old male was admitted to the hospital through the ED after collapsing at home and briefly losing consciousness. Other symptoms included crampy abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. He was diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis; myocardial infarction was ruled out and he was discharged 2 days later. Pancreatitis was not considered, and serum amylase and lipase tests were not done. The patient collapsed again and died 4 days later. Autopsy revealed chronic and acute hemorrhagic, necrotizing pancreatitis. Plaintiffs argued that the defendant physician departed from the standard of care by failing to include pancreatitis in her differential diagnosis, and by failing to test for same. The defendant asserted that the patient had viral gastroenteritis, which likely caused pancreatitis in the days that followed. The decedent was married and earning 200K at the time of death.

Categories: Defense Verdict
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