An incorrect diagnosis may have caused the death of 40-year-old Stacy Meaux, and even the doctor who attended to the woman agrees that he could have done more to save her life.
According to reports, Meaux went to the emergency room Christus St. Mary Hospital on October 2, 2007 and reported symptoms of severe chest pains. Dr. Michael Peterson performed tests on the woman and incorrectly diagnosed and treated the woman for irregular breathing and released her from the hospital despite an irregular EKG result of the two taken. While the doctor did prescribe Captopril, a drug that can help with heart problems and increase changes of survival after a heart attack, he did not keep her for observation.
On October 3, Meaux suffered from a fatal heart attack – by the time paramedics arrived at her house, she did not have a pulse and could not be resuscitated. An autopsy revealed that she had indeed died from a massive heart attack.
During testimony, Peterson said that he should have corrected a nurse’s mistake and also related a personal story about his own mother dying of a heart attack after a similar missed diagnosis.
Dr. Peterson settled a similar medical malpractice lawsuit with the family for $150,000 last summer. The family believes that the nursing staff and hospital is also to blame for not appropriately triggering the chain of command and for not correctly assessing Meaux’s health issues. Meaux had a host of other health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and a cigarette addiction.