Two Granite City doctors and a medical facility are accused of failing to diagnose a patient's "treatable and curable" heart condition prior to his death.
The estate of Phillip Szymarek, by and through special administrator Wendy Szymarek, filed a lawsuit Sept. 25 in Madison County Circuit Court against Dr. Robert Blankenship and Gateway City Illinois Hospital Company LLC, doing business as Gateway Regional Medical Center, Auxiliary Inc. and/or Granite City Clinic Corp. Dr. Abdul Razzaq is also named as a defendant.
According to the complaint, Phillip Szymarek presented to the emergency room at Gateway Regional Medical Center on Sept. 27, 2010, "complaining of sudden onset of vertigo with a heart rate in the low to mid 40s, which was confirmed by EKG." Blankenship, Phillip's primary care physician, and Razzaq, a cardiologist, allegedly evaluated the patient while at the facility.
Phillip's wife, Wendy, says he visited Blankenship's office on Oct. 5, 2010. The physician allegedly "noted that Phillip presented with severe acute vertigo with nausea and vomiting and sinus bradycardia" but said all studies were "unrevealing." Wendy says Phillip was not referred for any additional cardiology care and his treatment was not adjusted.
On Dec. 9, 2013, Wendy says Phillip returned to the Gateway emergency room complaining of "multiple episodes of syncope and sinus bradycardia." The hospital staff diagnosed the patient with the flu and sent him home with instructions to contact Blankenship if the illness worsened, the lawsuit states.
Wendy contends Phillip died on Dec. 17, 2013, "as a direct result of defendants' actions and omissions." She accuses the doctors and medical facility of wrongful death for allegedly "failing to realize Phillip suffered from a treatable and curable heart condition." She seeks more than $50,000 for medical bills, funeral expenses, pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Attorneys Ted Gianaris and Jo Anna Pollock with Simmons Hanly Conroy in Alton represent Wendy Szymarek.
Madison County Circuit Court case number: 14-L-1318.