ROCKVILLE, Md. (CN) - A patient died of a heart attack after Kaiser Hospitals refused more than two months of requests for tests, his family claims in court.
Irene McGlone, widow of the late Wayne McGlone, and her family sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser affiliates and employees, in Montgomery County Court. Wayne McGlone was 53.
Wayne McGlone called Kaiser, and 911, complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath in December 2011. He was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where "A CT angiogram of the chest was recommended, but because Frederick Memorial Hospital is not a Kaiser-Permanente-approved facility, it was never performed," the widow says in the lawsuit.
Frederick Memorial Hospital is not a party to the complaint.
McGlone was transferred to defendant Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and Adventist Healthcare hospital in Rockville, which is a Kaiser-Permanente-approved facility.
He had an exercise stress test, which defendant Dr. Daniel Griffen III called "non-diagnostic," because McGlone "did not reach a sufficient heart rate for the test to be diagnostic," according to the complaint.
"Dr. Griffen did not order that the test be repeated. Dr. Griffen did not order that a CT angiogram, as recommended by Frederick Memorial Hospital, or any other study be performed," the complaint states.
McGlone was discharged on Dec. 18, 2011. A Kaiser doctor, defendant Carol Cardinale, saw him on Jan. 13, 2012 and ordered an echocardiogram, the family says. But "despite being aware of Mr. McGlone's symptomology, his recent hospitalizations for chest pain and shortness of breath, his non-diagnostic stress test, that a CT angiogram had been recommended but not performed, and his family history of cardiac and artery disease, Dr. Cardinale ordered no further work-up and no further testing," according to the lawsuit.
McGlone asked for authorization to seek a second opinion, his family says.
On Feb. 2, 2012, McGlone's brother died of a heart attack. McGlone informed Kaiser, and again requested a referral, his widow says.
A week later, "a Kaiser Permanente employee informed Mr. McGlone's wife that although Dr. Cardinale was aware that Mr. McGlone's brother had just died of the very problem Mr. McGlone was concerned about and for which there was a known family history, she required that Mr. McGlone's care be 'internalized.' Thus, Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Cardinale would not authorize Mr. McGlone to see a Kaiser-Permanente partner for further testing," the family claims.
Two days after that, "Dr. Cardinale informed Mr. McGlone that his heart condition was an 'electrical one,' and that his was a different condition than that which took the life of Mr. McGlone's brother. When she made that statement, Dr. Cardinale had not evaluated Mr. McGlone since learning of his brother's sudden death, had not performed testing on Mr. McGlone other than an echocardiogram, and had no medical records for Mr. McGlone's deceased brother," the complaint states.
McGlone made a third request for a referral and Dr. Cardinale saw him on March 26, noted his continuing symptoms, and ordered another stress test, the widow says.
Her husband died on April 3, before that test could be done.
"Absent the above-described negligence of the defendants, Mr. McGlone would have lived a normal, healthy and fulfilling life," his widow says.
The family seeks damages for medical malpractice, wrongful death and loss of consortium.
Defendants include Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; Cardiac Associates P.C., of Rockville; and Adventist Healthcare dba Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
The family's lead counsel is Scott Perry, with Perry Charnoff, of Arlington, Va.
More than 100 lawsuits alleging medical malpractice were filed against Kaiser Foundation hospitals in 2013, according to the Courthouse News database.