Doctor of "Manipulative Medicine" Must Stand Trial for Failing to Refer Teenaged Patient to a Vascular Specialist
On July 11, 2018, the appellate court covering Long Island, denied an osteopathic doctor's pre-trial motion to dismiss a patient's malpractice claim to avoid a jury trial. The patient was 15 years old when she sought help from the doctor who claimed to be specialized in "Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine". The doctor testified the patient complained of pain in her hand with color changes in the elbow and a cold arm.The doctor believed it was likely the young lady had "thoracic outlet syndrome which occurred when there was an injury to one of three structures in the thoracic outlet, which are the subclavian artery and vein, and the brachial plexus." Two days after treating with the defendant, the patient suffered a stroke due to a blood clot in her subclavian artery.
The thrust of the malpractice claim is that based on the reported symptoms and the results of a doppler study, the defendant doctor was negligent for failing to refer the patient for additional tests and an emergent consult with a vascular specialist. The Court denied the doctor's pre-trial motion for summary judgment (dismissal) and stated that a jury should determine whether plaintiff's expert is correct in stating that had the defendant "taken these steps, the young lady's condition would likely have been discovered and her stroke prevented". Jane Doe v Doctor, 2018 WL 3371314