Case Archive
Urology, Internal Medicine
Ref. # 35358

A 58 year old obese Michigan man underwent a radical prostatectomy. Post-operatively he was in good condition and was discharged. The patient complained of groin pain while at home; he was treated only over the phone and never seen by a doctor. Two weeks later he died at home; the cause of death was given as pulmonary embolism. The patient's past medical history revealed a deep venous thrombosis one year earlier, requiring heparin followed by coumadin therapy. The attorney noted that an internist was not called in to clear the patient prior to the prostatectomy. A medQuest urologist and a medQuest internist independently found that an internist should have been called in prior to the procedure due to: the type of surgery; the patient's history of phlebitis; and the patient's obesity, making him a high risk for the procedure. The medQuest internist further noted that during the two weeks post-surgery, in light of the patient's complaints of groin pain, he should have been seen and assessed by a doctor. The thrombosis would have been appropriately treated and the embolism avoided.

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