Patient Des After Radiologist Hangs Up On Primary Care Physician

Posted on Jun 26, 2008

 

Imagine a doctor diagnosis a life threatening blood clot, deep vein thrombosis, or DVT for short.  He calls the primary care physician who referred you, but can't get the doctor on the phone.  So he hangs up - without leaving a message, without telling a doctor or nurse (or anyone) that he diagnosed a life threatening condition.

That happened to a single mom living in Fairfax, Va.  The radiologist never told her she had a DVT and never told her internist.  She died a few days later of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that breaks off and travels to the lung, and a  known complication of deep vein thrombosis.   The standard treatment includes blood thinners and is 90% effective.

Frank R. Kearney represents the woman's estate, with co-counsel Ben Glass.  The primary care group settled before trial but the radiologist did not.  He won at trial because he blamed the referring physician.  The Supreme Court of Virginia ordered a new trial.