Patient sues Heart Care Group, alleging negligence in treatment

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Nov. 10, 2015, 1:06pm


A Wood River patient is suing a Madison County medical provider and one of its physicians, alleging failure to properly diagnose and treat his heart condition.

John M. Beatty, of Wood River, filed a lawsuit Oct. 2 in Madison County Circuit Court against Fairview Heights Medical Group, doing business as The Heart Care Group, and Dr. Michael J. Fleissner,  alleging professional negligence.

According to the complaint, Beatty was implanted with a pacemaker by Fleissner on Aug. 14, 2013, after experiencing a slow heartbeat following the administration of a beta blocker to treat atrial fibrillation.

The suit states Fleissner discharged him the day after the pacemaker procedure despite Beatty complaining of pressure and pain in his chest, and an echocardiogram showing a small pericardial effusion around the right side of the heart.

Fleissner said the pericardial effusion was within normal limits and dismissed Beatty's feeling of pressure and other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, as normal post-operative complaints, the suit says. Beatty went to the hospital Nov. 7, 2013, with complaints of heart palpitations and weakness, and ended up having to undergo a procedure to drain the large pericardial effusion a few days later, the lawsuit states.

The suit faults the defendants with failing to diagnose and treat the pericardial effusion in a timely manner, prematurely discharging Beatty after the procedure, and not performing any follow-up echocardiograms to reassess the effusion.

Beatty seeks damages of more than $50,000, in addition to court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.  He is represented by attorney Paul W. Johnson of SL Chapman in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1277.

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