TUSTIN, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, May 9, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- An elderly woman complains of wheezing. Her primary care physician orders a lung function test and concludes that her wheezing is due to asthma. She is prescribed an inhaler and steroids and sent home.
She is seen regularly in the clinic and each time the record shows that the patient reported wheezing. A few years later, this same elderly woman is admitted to the hospital. Now she is hypoxic, struggling for air.
Her doctors diagnose her with a viral infection, which they believe made her asthma worse, and prescribe a higher dose of steroids and discharge her.
A week later, she returns with the same problem. The wheezing is back. She can't breathe.
This time, however, her doctors discover she has tuberculosis in her lungs, and she dies.
Unexpected deaths happen all the time as a result of complications from surgery. Some deaths are unpreventable. This was not one of those times.
“This had been going on for years,” says Dr. Omar Darwish. “It was an atypical presentation of endobronchial tuberculosis. After many weeks of steroids and repeated hospitalizations, she ends up passing away from a superimposed pulmonary bacterial infection. I was shocked by what I found.”
Dr. Darwish is a board-certified internal medicine physician and full-time practicing hospitalist at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.
Dr. Darwish is currently the director of the Morbidity and Mortality Conference at UCI. Any unexplained deaths are submitted for his review.
“From the time I started, I was always interested in learning from mistakes in the hospital,” says Dr. Darwish.
As a hospitalist in the university setting, Dr. Darwish teaches the doctors of tomorrow to improve their skills, knowledge, and bedside manner.
“I try to put my feet in the physician’s shoes,” says Dr. Darwish. “I have young doctors around me all the time, but I see it from the young doctors, as well as the most experienced, where things could have been missed.”
Expert witness work is an extension of what Dr. Darwish already does at UCI.
“It's detective work. I like trying to figure out like the true reason behind what happened,” explains Dr. Darwish. “Was there something that could have been done before or after surgery that could have prevented this from happening? Was there a deviation from the standard of care? I review that based on the written record.”
Of course, the jury eventually decides. But Dr. Darwish says being an expert witness allows him to be a part of the system trying to find balance.
“It helps to deliver justice and it helps improve the health care system.”
Close Up Radio will feature Dr. Omar Darwish in an interview with Jim Masters on May 11th at 1pm EDT
Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio
If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389