Grounds for Formal Complaint about MD??

  1. Okay, I'm going to TRY to state this objectively, though I am still STEAMING mad! :angryfire :angryfire

    My husband was booked for an angiogram last January. He wanted to cancel it, but the cardiologist pretty much railroaded him into having it done. Although he has a-fib, she took him off his coumadin, and did not put him on an alternant blood thinner, such as Fragmin or Lovenox. He suffered a fairly major stroke the day after the procedure.

    He spent a month in hosptial following the stroke. When he got home, we booked an appointment with her to follow up on the angiogram. She cancelled this appointment, and rebooked it for a later date (not the first time that had happened!) He never kept the later appointment because he was back in in hospital with a major bleed from his bladder.

    When the bleeding slowed down, the urologist did a cystoscope under general anesthetic. Following the anesthetic, my husband aspirated, went into a-fib, suffered a major M.I. and came pretty close to dying. He's been home from hospital just over a month now, and is doing remarkably well, considering everything he went through.

    HOWEVER, the cytology report from the washing done on his bladder was positive for cancer cells, and we very much need to have further investigation done on the bladder, but cannot do so until the cardiologist gives us the green light. He had a nuclear stress test done 2 weeks ago, and was to see the cardiologist the next day.

    Again, she cancelled the appointment. We rebooked it for today, only to have it cancelled yet again!! The reasons given are various. Today, she had to pick her daughters up from school (apparently, when the appointment was rebooked, she forgot about this little detail ) On other occasions, it was because she had to go back to the States to look after patients there, or because she had to go to court over the custody battle she is having with her ex-husband over their kids.

    Fortunately, the cardiologist she shares an office with is able to see my husband later this week. He is willing to take my husband on as a patient, which makes me very, very happy. I am angry enough at his partner to spit nails, [well, that's not ALL I'd like to do, but I have to keep the TOS in mind here...] and I am very, very seriously considering reporting her to the Canadian Medical Association. My husband has been out of hospital for over a month now, and she has not seen him since before his stroke in January!! When I talked to her today, she sounded like she was totally oblivious to everything that had happened to him since the stroke (she DID know about that).

    I seriously think she should not be practising medicine until she gets her act together, and am wondering if I have grounds to report her to the Canadian Medical Association for neglect.
    Last edit by Jay-Jay on May 18, '04
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   NeuroICURN
    IMHO....report her. She acted carelessly and your husband has now paid the consequences of her actions.

    I'll keep you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Definitely report her..................you mayfind that you are nottthe first and that there is a long line of various complaints. Just not sure what Canadian authorities do when they receive complaints.

    Were you required to stay with her for any reason? I would have fired her right in the beginning..................
  5. by   Jay-Jay
    She was our second cardiologist. My husband refused to go back to the first one after he insisted he start taking amidarone, a medication which has a very long list of side-effects. (Not sure of the spelling on that...been a rough day!) So, we were reluctant to change again. There aren't many cardiologists in our area. The guy she shares her office with was the one who did the angiogram, and HE said in the whole time he's been doing them, he's never had a patient suffer a stroke due to the procedure. My husband was the first.
    Last edit by Jay-Jay on May 18, '04
  6. by   suzanne4
    Definitely report her..................you may find that you are not the first and that there is a long line of various complaints. Just not sure what Canadian authorities do when they receive complaints.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on May 18, '04
  7. by   suzanne4
    Sorry that you have had to endure so much, and of course, your husband has too.
  8. by   Jay-Jay
    Thank you, Suzanne. She is now trying to book an angioplasty for my husband, and since the last two invasive procedures done on him both ended in disaster, I just don't know what to do. I'm scared to let anyone touch him again.

    I also feel very sorry for her receptionist, and her other patients. When the appointment was cancelled for the second time, my husband let the receptionist, who is a VERY nice lady, know he was upset. She replied, "I fully understand. Just think how I feel. I have 22 people to cancel!"
    Last edit by Jay-Jay on May 18, '04
  9. by   moia
    I am all for reporting her...but what is the charge?
    Cancelling appointments because she is a scatterbrain? Or "railroading" an adult into a procedure he didn't want or need?

    I would have to know when did she stop the coumadin?
    The doctor who did the angio...what did he do?
    Obviously you cant be on coumadin before and after a femoral artery puncture.
    The question is did the docs follow established prototcal and more importantly did they have informed consent?
    Did your husband know the risks involved in stopping the coumadin and what plans were in place to return him to a therapeutic INR for his afib??
    Why did you feel railroaded and was it justified?

    I agree your cardiologist is a scatterbrain that is pretty rude and no one wants someone like that caring for their loved one but to really get a response from the college you need better ammunition.


    I would actually think you need a malpractice attorney to review all the events leading up to the angio...I would also want to the urologists care to be reviewed...something seems really off here...
    Having one bad event after angio is bad luck but this series of bad results after every procedure seems to be saying a little more than a result of chance.

    Someone needs to review the charts here and find out how all of this went so badly wrong.
    In the mean time I would fire both these doctors.... you need to find a cardiologist that is completely objective and her partner is certainly not at this point.
    Get your family doc to refer you to someone else.
  10. by   Dixiecup
    you absolutely need to take some kind of action. It could save someone else the traumatic experiences you both went through.
  11. by   Jay-Jay
    Moia, yes, obviously the coumadin HAD to be stopped. However, I've been a homecare nurse for patients who were at high risk for blood clots, and, when the doc took them off coumadin prior to surgery, they were given short-acting blood thinners such as fragmin, which can be given, if I recall correctly, right up until 24 hours before the surgery, then resumed very quickly afterwards. Not sure this would have prevented what happened, but it certainly MUST help, or else why would some doctors order it?

    As for what happened after the cystoscope, that was certainly just the 'luck of the draw.' My husband had had a stroke, which affected his swallowing. He aspirated his own saliva just after the stroke. Something similar probably happened following the general anesthetic. Could it have been prevented? How? It certainly wasn't the urologist's fault. Again, coumadin might have prevented the MI, but the reason for his admission to hospital was a bladder HEMHORRHAGE so severe it dropped his hemoglobin from 150 to 108 over the course of 8 days. You gonna put a patient experiencing that on blood thinners?? Don't think so!

    Also, why would I need an attorney? Did I mention the word 'sue' anywhere? I know I don't have a leg to stand on in that department. I just think that cancelling patient's appointments...what is the tally now....5, 6 times in the few months my husband has been under her care?...is totally unprofessional, inexcusable, and NEEDS TO BE REPORTED! I'll also mention the fragmin, but, she probably will counter by saying my husband reported the a-fib had all but disappeared in the weeks prior to the angiogram, so she thought it was unnecessary. He had a run of a-fib in the recovery room after the procedure, and no one did anything about it, other than to monitor him carefully.
    Last edit by Jay-Jay on May 18, '04
  12. by   plumrn
    When my father had his pacemaker replaced, he was taken off of Coumadin, (for artificial heart valve),a few days before the procedure. When his protime got down to less than therapeutic, the Cardiologist admitted him to the hospital on a Heparin drip until just a few hours before the procedure. He resumed the Coumadin immediately, and the Heparin shortly after the procedure. I felt very thankful that the doctor was taking those precautions, but you know what? I very rarely see it done that way on a day to day basis and I'm wondering why not? Is it just too much trouble? Medicare/ Insurance won't pay for the extra hospital days?

    I'm very sorry for what you and your husband have gone through, and I do believe that doctor neglected you. I'm thinking you should report her to the board, if only to make her perhaps less neglectful of future patients.
  13. by   z's playa
    Report her! :angryfire I'm upset for you. Hope your husband recovers completly.
  14. by   Tweety
    I'm sorry you and your husband are going through this. A factual letter to the association might get it off your chest, even if nothing happens. Canceling appointments frequently resulting in delays in treatment is potentially dangerous. So I say do it so you can concentrate on important matters at hand. Best wishes.

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