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12/07/88 Anna Petkus, As Special v. Daniel V. Girzadas Et Al.

December 7, 1988

PETKUS, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

DANIEL

v.

GIRZADAS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (CHRIST HOSPITAL OF THE EVANGELICAL HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION ET



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

ANNA PETKUS, as Special Adm'r of the Estate of Joseph B.

al., Defendants)

532 N.E.2d 333, 177 Ill. App. 3d 323, 126 Ill. Dec. 648 1988.IL.1768

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas R. Rakowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. WHITE, P.J., and FREEMAN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA

Plaintiff Anna Petkus, as special administrator of the estate of her husband, Joseph B. Petkus, deceased, appeals from a trial court order granting summary judgment in this medical malpractice action in favor of defendants, Drs. Daniel V. Girzadas, Robert A. Miller and Richard A. Sodetz, partners in Oak Lawn Orthopedics, S.C. The court granted summary judgment on the basis that plaintiff's sole expert witness, a cardiologist, could not provide the requisite expert opinion of the conduct of an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Mary DiFilippo and Christ Hospital remain as defendants in the action.

The physicians' depositions reveal the following facts. On September 22, 1981, Dr. Miller, an orthopedist, admitted decedent to the hospital with a broken leg after he fell off a ladder. Decedent denied having a prior cardiology condition. The first stage of a surgical procedure was performed that day, and decedent remained in intensive care until the following day.

On September 24, decedent complained of chest pain. On September 25, decedent's EKG of the previous day was labeled abnormal. Dr. Miller called in Dr. DiFilippo, a cardiologist, as a consulting physician. Dr. DiFilippo diagnosed a myocardial infarction which could have occurred either in the hospital or prior to the hospitalization.

An October 4 EKG also showed the myocardial infarction. On October 5, Dr. Miller performed the second stage of surgery on the fractured leg. He did not recall having reviewed the October 4 EKG report prior to surgery.

On October 13, Dr. Miller wrote in decedent's chart that decedent would be getting up in a chair and beginning physical therapy. Dr. Miller testified that Dr. DiFilippo orally approved physical therapy twice daily. Dr. DiFilippo's October 13 chart notation states that at physical therapy decedent felt faint and his vision blackened. She cancelled further therapy for that day, but ordered its resumption the next day. She ordered: "Please get patient up in a chair today. No physical therapy today. Resume PT tomorrow, but only standing for a few moments, ambulating 5 to 10 feet. Increase gradually, daily, has not been out of bed for three weeks." She prescribed nitroglycerine and Maalox at his bedside.

At 2:10 p.m., Dr. Mendek ordered an EKG "stat" when decedent complained of heaviness in the chest after getting out of bed.

On the morning of October 14, decedent was returned to physical therapy, although the results from the previous ...


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