Osteopathy, Family Practice
Ref. # 24528
A 28 year old Michigan woman complaining of ear aches went to her family physician, an osteopath, who referred her to an ENT specialist at a major research hospital. The patient was diagnosed with the rare infection known as superbacteria and treated successfully. The ENT instructed the patient to return if the condition recurred, and sent a letter to the osteopath advising the same. Two years later the condition recurred. The patient went to the osteopath, a provider of her HMO, and asked to be referred again to the ENT specialist, who was not a provider of her HMO. The osteopath informed the patient the infection was treatable and the referral was unnecessary. The treatment included Ceftin, Colymycin Otic drops, Daypro and Alzura. The patient's condition deteriorated over several weeks, after which she went to the osteopath with the edematous eyes and face and hives on the upper chest. The patient was rushed to the hospital's burn unit, where she died of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. A medQuest osteopathic family practitioner reported the family physician was negligent in continuing to treat the patient for several weeks when it was obvious her condition was not improving. The patient's death was preventable.