Did the lack of monitoring and treatment of an inmate’s pacemaker and hypertension constitute negligence and contribute to his premature death?
Hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease, but heart disease can occur for a variety of reasons. Only a skilled cardiology expert witness can distinguish between various causes. This case was also complicated by the alleged medical negligence occurring in a correctional medicine facility. The client needed an experienced correctional medicine expert witness to opine upon the applicable standard of correctional medicine care.
A 62-year-old correctional inmate had a history of diabetes, congestive heart failure, pacemaker placement, and coronary artery disease. While incarcerated, he died of hypertensive heart disease. The family of the decedent alleged that the inmate was not under appropriate medical observation and that there was a failure to monitor his pacemaker and to treat his hypertension. They were also concerned regarding the development of progressive renal failure noted on a lab test prior to his death. A defense law firm contacted elite medical experts on behalf of the correctional system. The defense firm was in need of a cardiology expert witness to determine whether any alleged breach of the applicable standard of care actually caused or contributed to the man’s death. The defense firm also required a correctional medicine expert witness to opine on the standard of care for the correctional medicine aspect of the case.
Our complimentary case consultation distilled the need for two experts: a cardiology expert witness and a correctional medicine expert witness. Elite’s physician-led team immediately secured a cardiology expert witness with expertise and publications in hypertensive heart disease. Elite also secured an expert witness who was an experienced professor of internal medicine (the same specialty as the defendant physician) with current practice in correctional medicine.
The Medical Experts
A top cardiology medical expert was hand-vetted to the specific needs of this case. The cardiology medical expert was a full-time professor of cardiology at a major Texas medical university and the author of numerous publications and clinical trials. The correctional medicine medical expert was also a top-tier professor who oversaw the correctional medicine program at three correctional facilities.
The cardiology medical expert witness was able to quickly determine that the inmate’s hypertension was chronic and that short-term intervention would not have altered the course of the disease. The correctional medicine expert witness supported the care administered by the correctional medicine team. Although the inmate’s blood pressure was not optimally controlled, it was adequately controlled and appropriately monitored. The defense prevailed on both standard of care and causation.
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E-Case Studies are brief clinical vignettes based upon actual cases handled by Elite Medical Experts. Identifying information has been redacted or altered to protect case confidentiality.