Failure to Diagnose and Treat Gallstone Pancreatitis.
The 47-year-old plaintiff presented to his defendant primary care physician’s office complaining of abdominal pain, which had persisted for approximately 48 hours. As part of plaintiff’s examination, the defendant physician drew blood and processed the blood through a laboratory which defendant owned. Among other values, the blood chemistries revealed an abnormally high Amylase level of 413, with normals for the lab being from 25 to 115. Despite the fact that an Amylase level more than three times the normal level definitively points to a problem in the pancreas, the defendant physician did not address this problem or even mention it to plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s primary case physicians continued to see him several times after this event, and failed to follow up in any way with regard to his abnormal Amylase level. Several months later, plaintiff presented to his wife’s family doctor with severe abdominal pain and a fever, and he was immediately referred to a hospital for an abdominal X-ray. At this point in time, plaintiff’s Amylase value had skyrocketed to 1685, more than 10 times high normal. Plaintiff was immediately admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of gallstone pancreatitis for which he underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder and large portion of his pancreas, which had died off during the previous several months.
Any number of simple diagnostic tests would have shown the presence of a gallstone before the pancreas became necrotic, and would have lead to a simple cholecystectomy (Gall Bladder removal surgery) thus preventing the dire chain of events that ensued; however, the negligence of plaintiff’s physicians prevented him from timely diagnosis and treatment. Plaintiff was rendered completely disable as a result of his injuries and the numerous subsequent surgeries he underwent as a result of his mis-diagnosed condition.