Physician sued in 1994 death of his patient Family alleges the doctor misdiagnosed symptoms

woman died 4 days later

January 21, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

The family of a Pasadena woman who died in 1994 after being treated for leg and abdominal pains has filed suit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court alleging her death was caused by the doctor's misdiagnosis.

John D. Wolfe of the 7800 block of Hidden Creek Way says Dr. C. Thomas Folkemer treated his wife during a Feb. 11, 1994, office visit and let her go home when he should have hospitalized her.

"Had the defendant Folkemer adhered to acceptable standards of care and recognized clear signs and symptoms the patient would have survived," the lawsuit says.

Dr. Folkemer did not return telephone calls for comment.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 5, says Marijane Wolfe came to Dr. Folkemer's Pasadena office complaining of severe shortness of breath and pain in her abdomen and left leg.

An electrocardiogram showed a pattern of strain on the right side of her heart, the lawsuit says.

The suit says Dr. Folkemer sent Mrs. Wolfe home with pain medication when he should have hospitalized her and ordered X-rays, which would have shown the blood clots in both legs that eventually proved fatal.

The doctor "prescribed a pain-relieving drug and an antibiotic for a nonexistent urinary tract infection," the suit says. "Marijane Wolfe was negligently sent home accompanied by her husband instead of being sent to a hospital on an emergency basis."

The suit says Mrs. Wolfe's symptoms persisted until the next night, when she woke up her husband at 11:30 p.m., telling him that she "could no longer breathe."

Paramedics took her to North Arundel Hospital, where she died Feb. 15, 1994, of cardiorespiratory arrest.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mr. Wolfe and the couple's three children.

It seeks an unspecified amount of damages on separate counts of wrongful death and loss of consortium.

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