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$1.35 Million Suit Lists Radiologist, Other Docs

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A $1.35 million lawsuit filed in Illinois blames five doctors and five medical practices, including a radiologist and a radiology practice, for a litany of medical problems suffered by a man who underwent a series of procedures.

The Madison-St. Clair Record, a legal journal covering the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair (across the Mississippi River from St. Louis), chronicled the case. The suit was filed earlier this year in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

It all started, the suit says, when Belleville, Illinois, gastroenterologist Stephen A. Schmidt, MD, referred Maynard Hudson for an abdominal scan in order to determine what was causing abdominal pain, loose stools, poor appetite, dehydration, and weight loss. Michael Barrows, MD, a radiologist at Radiology Consultants of Mid-America in Belleville, handled the scan, the suit says. According to the Record:

Maynard Hudson had a history of Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and renal failure, the suit says. Because Barrows did not consult with Schmidt, Barrows failed to provide Hudson with fluids and failed to decrease the intravenous contrast dose below the routine dose when he performed the CT scan on Feb. 5, 2011, the suit states.

The lawsuit also blames Dr. Schmidt for failing to tell Hudson that he would need to take extra fluids before the scan. As a result of all the failures, the lawsuit contends, Hudson suffered kidney damage and, two days later, was admitted to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville. Things get a little confusing at that point. The lawsuit apparently argues that:

  • Dr. Schmidt had prescribed azathioprine for Hudson’s Crohn’s disease;
  • Dr. Schmidt did not ensure that Hudson took the medication;
  • Two other doctors who treated Hudson at the hospital failed to recognize that he was not taking his azathioprine, failed to appreciate that the azathioprine had caused pancreatitis, and represcribed azathioprine without consulting Dr. Schmidt.

As a result of that chain of events, the lawsuit contends, Hudson continued to suffer from acute drug-induced pancreatitis and debility, and also experienced re-emergence of a rash.

The lawsuit alleges that Hudson suffered further difficulties as a result of surgery on August 24, 2011, for repair of abdominal aortic and iliac artery aneurysms. And, it says, his wife and co-plaintiff, Judith Hudson, lost his services and consortium as a result of his medical problems. The suit seeks awards of more than $1.35 million, plus legal costs.

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Meanwhile, a presentation on Sunday at the American College of Cardiology scientific session in San Francisco focused on how to avoid getting sued. For details, see our Facebook page.

Related seminar: Imaging Advances: Abdominal, Thoracic, Skeletal


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