Tuesday, June 20, 2006

While You Are in There . . .

A lawyer for a Santa Fe man who accuses an orthopedic surgeon of misdiagnosing his kidney ailment said he hasn't been able to serve the doctor with a malpractice complaint because the doctor moves around as a medical-circuit rider.

Traveling docs (and nurses) are becoming common place. I have a client who is a trauma doc and travels to 6 states working in various emergency rooms.

Stephen Gables, a 41-year-old Santa Fe computer specialist, says in a complaint filed May 4 that Schillen treated him for a fracture to the lower right leg at St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in November 2004.

Blood tests indicated Gables had "critically low levels of calcium" and other symptoms that, the complaint says, should "have led to the diagnosis of a condition known as primary focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis ... which, if left untreated, will progressively become worse and ultimately be terminal."

The failure to diagnose the condition means that Gables "is now facing complete kidney failure and the probability of a kidney transplant," the complaint says.

I do find it curious that an orthopod was expected to make a diagnosis that is clearly outside the domain of his specialty.

According to sources, the diagnosis of glomerulosclerosis is done via urinalysis . . . a procedure not normally done during treatment of a fracture.

So doc, while you are fixing my leg, how about checking out my stomach too. I have been having problems when I eat Mexican food.
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