Four Providers Pay $1.2M Settlement for Death after Alleged Failure to Diagnose Endocarditis

August 9, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Four providers involved in a medical malpractice claim involving inadequate communication about test results between several offices have settled for a total of $1.2 million in New Jersey, states a report (login required) from the July 2013 Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements, and Experts. The 65-year-old patient visited an internist in February 2007 and underwent a blood test that showed an infection. The internist believed the patient to be cured of the infection after antibiotics were administered and referred the patient to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram to examine a heart murmur. However, because the internist’s nurse practitioner provided the wrong clinical indication, the cardiologist did not know the purpose of the study was to evaluate the patient’s heart murmur and interpreted the echocardiogram as negative. The internist and nurse practitioner allegedly did not realize the test was read for the wrong indication because they did not request a copy of the study. Later, the internist sent the patient to an infectious disease specialist to rule out endocarditis.

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