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Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment Of Massive Heart Attack Of Patient In The ICU At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

L.B., a retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army, underwent surgery on his neck at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The surgery went well, but as he recovered in the Intensive Care Unit, he experienced a blockage of a major blood vessel in his heart (a myocardial infarction). In spite of his complaints of severe chest pain, and TWO EKGs that demonstrated blockage of an artery that supplied vital blood to his heart, L.B. remained in the ICU without the needed treatment for three hours. By the time he was transferred for cardiac catheterization to remove the blockage, the muscles in his heart were extensively and permanently damaged. As a result, he was no longer able to continue to work in his high-stress job in the Department of Homeland Security and had to take an early medical disability retirement.

The claim brought by L.B. and his wife (who was entitled to compensation for loss of consortium) was settled with the U.S. Navy Claims Service, which now handles claims since the merging of Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed, without the need to file suit in federal court.

Note: The example above are some of the military medical malpractice cases we have handled in the past. Case outcomes and results depend upon many factors that are unique to each case. Past results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by Swartz & Reed. These examples merely provide a framework for understanding the kinds of cases we undertake.