Failure to Send Patient to ED after Worsening Work Injury, $1.2M Award

October 4, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


A jury has found a Kansas physician mostly to blame for a patient’s failure to visit an emergency department (ED) after he was injured while working as a heavy equipment transporter and mover, according to a report published September 26, 2013, in the Wichita Eagle (Kansas). The patient, now 55, suffered a crushing injury to his chest when he was pinned between two large containers at work. Because the injury was work-related, he was sent to an occupational medicine physician who had been chosen by his employer. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the physician examined the patient and diagnosed the crushing injury, saw the patient over a period of four days in a clinic, and told him to call if his condition worsened. The attorney claimed that because the patient telephoned the clinic on two different days, the patient should have been sent to an ED for closer examination. Instead, the physician instructed the patient to return to the office in five days.

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