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Dr. Sundy's Case Analysis

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On 06/23/15 at 11:00 a.m. I met with Dr. Sunday at his clinic where he made the following statements relative to this complaint.

Dr. Sundy stated that he saw Hutchinson as doing poorly but thought she could get better. However, within 24-48 hours she crashed with lactic acidosis and fulminant renal failure. He had seen Hutchinson around 8:00 a.m. He was adamant that Hutchinson did not have brain damage as stated by Richards. When he returned to her bedside later that day, nobody communicated to him as to what the code status was. His interaction with Richards was less than optimal; nevertheless, he did apologize to them for any perceived distress he caused them as this was not his intent. His overriding concern was the welfare of the patient.
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Sundy related that at times he can come off being too forthright and dogmatic in his treatment of his patients. He thought he had good intuitions or whether or not to try different treatments on behalf of his patients.

He went on to say that upon further reflection his tone and content could have been perceived by the family as being harsh, sarcastic, dramatic and snide with them. He clarified that at no time did he intend to place a dialysis catheter without the patient’s consent.

Dr. Sundy claimed that he knew of no advanced directive or code status when he was asked to consult on this case. He said he was perfectly able to make the call for palliative care, futile care and/or aggressive care. Hutchinson was getting maximal therapy.

Dr. Sundy provided me with a copy of his consultation with Hutchinson’s primary care physician (Dr. Heidi E. Joist) and Pulmonary Progress Note (herein appended as ATTACHMENT 1). It noted she had mottled extremities from high dose pressors that were failing to keep her blood pressure stabilized.

Though he was cooperative, Dr. Sundy was distressed and dismayed that this complaint was made and the efforts Richards took not only to notify his direct supervisor (Dr. Morey Gardener) but also the president of St. Mary’s Medical Center as well, let alone bringing it in the first place. He was of the opinion that the Board should be investigating “real” issues” instead this
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