Saint Luke’s Physician Group has been hit with a medical malpractice lawsuit that alleges two employees failed to timely detect and treat a patient for lung cancer.
The nine-page lawsuit claims Dr. Andrea Covey and advanced practice nurse (APRN) Rita Mangold were negligent for failing to use a degree of skill “ordinarily used by members” of the medical profession.
As the lawsuit tells it, Jeannette Breneiser, 70, of Kansas City in Platte County, was seen at St. Luke’s North Hospital for bronchitis in June of 2015. Following a chest CT scan showing a tiny pulmonary nodule plus mediastinal and hilar adenopathy, Dr. Convey allegedly treated Breneiser with antibiotics and counseled her to stop smoking, the lawsuit says.
Additionally, Breneiser was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and assigned Advair treatment.
At this time Dr. Covey allegedly wrote a medical note identifying Breneiser as “high risk,” which would call for the patient to undergo a follow-up CT scan in 12 months.
The suit alleges Breneiser was never informed by medical personnel that she was high risk, had adenopathy and should have another CT scan in 12 months.
Follow-up treatment for COPD Although Breneiser received follow-up treatment for her COPD in the fall and winter of 2016, Dr. Covey and Mangold allegedly did not order the previously recommended chest CT scan.
The lawsuit alleges at an appointment on June 8, 2017, Breneiser was instructed “to return on an as needed basis,” and did not immediately receive a chest CT scan. According to medical charts Mangold “makes mention of beginning initial cancer screening in the next year,” but failed to inform Breneiser, the lawsuit alleges. It wasn’t until 2018 that Breneiser was seen at the North Kansas City Hospital for bronchitis and underwent a CT angiogram that identified “a nodule that was concerning for malignancy.”
When Breneiser followed up with Dr. Covey about a month later, the physician ordered an ancillary CT scan. During a follow-up visit, the lawsuit says Breneiser was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma of the lung. The patient was found to have supraclavicular, periaortic, perihilar, precarinal and liver metastasis, the lawsuit says, and further follow-up was suggestive of intracranial involvement.
The lawsuit alleges “the cancer could and should have been detected at a very early stage by Mangold and Convey.”
Her lawsuit says Breneiser “is fighting to stay alive for as long as possible, so she can spend time with her daughters and her grandchildren.”
The lawsuit also says there was ‘no sense of urgency” following the findings of the CT scan in 2015.
To this day, Breneiser continues to receive treatment from the Saint Luke’s Physician Group.
According to allegations in the lawsuit, the subsequent St. Luke’s physician group and hospital physicians “have been diligent and helpful in trying to extend Ms. Breneiser’s time, and Ms. Breneiser is appreciative of that, but that does not excuse the poor quality of care provided by Dr. Covey and Ms. Mangold.”