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Medical Malpractice Hypothetical A 61 year old female presented to the Emergency Room complaining of chest pain.

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Medical Malpractice Hypothetical A 61 year old female presented to the Emergency Room complaining of chest pain. Medical Malpractice Hypothetical A 61 year old female presented to the Emergency Room complaining of chest pain. The patient indicated that she had never felt chest discomfort quite like this before and that the pain started roughly two hours prior. She was a school teacher and had an otherwise normal day. She was standing or sitting most of the day working with the students. However, it was a Friday she did some rearranging of desks and cleaning prior to the weekend. The ER physician feared the patient had suffered (or was suffering) a heart attack. The patient was immediately roomed and the following procedures were performed per hospital protocol: – Vitals and screening 0 Full Blood workup – Troponin Level (note: abnormal troponin levels typically means the patient suffered a cardiac event) 0 Chest CT Scan The lab results were received quickly. The Patient’s vitals were not out of normal range, however the patient was slightly hypotensive (low blood pressure). The blood workup came back normal. The troponin test came back normal. The Chest CT scan showed some evidence of heart disease (heart was slightly enlarged) but no sign of serious disease or injury. The patient’s medical history was reviewed. The patient indicated she smoked almost her whole life. She quit at roughly 50 years old. The patient was overweight and showed characteristics of low exercise levels. The patient indicated a history of hypertension (high blood pressure) and was currently taking blood pressure medication. The patient’s chart did not indicate any other negative cardiovascular history. As far as recent history, the patient dislocated her shoulder after falling roughly three years prior. The patient also had a case of influenza that hospitalized her last year. The ER physician evaluated the case and ruled out cardiovascular issues since most of the testing was within normal range. The physician was particularly persuaded by the normal troponin levels. Her past pulmonary and orthopedic issues did not seem connected to the current chest pain and he decided that contacting an on-call specialist was not necessary. The physician concluded that the patient likely pulled a muscle moving desks prior to the end of the data. The patient was discharged with instructions to take Tylenol and rest. The next morning, the patient woke up feeling the same chest pain. She decided she needed to go back to the hospital. While putting on her shoes, the patient collapsed. Her husband called 911 and started CPR. When paramedics arrived, there was little sign of life. Paramedics continued life saving measures for 20 minutes to no avail. In their report, the paramedics indicated the death was consistent with myocardial infarction (heart attack). Do the physician’s actions constitute medical malpractice?  


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