NEWS

West Island doctor suspended 5 months after patient dies

11/05/2014 06:02 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST
An emergency room doctor at Lakeshore General Hospital has been suspended for five months after Quebec's Collège des Médecins determined his overlooking of test results contributed to a patient's death.

Dr. Michael Vonniessen's suspension was handed down last week after a panel of doctors determined he had been "negligent several times in the management of the patient in question."

He had pleaded guilty to two charges — for not treating the patient according to his high risk, and for prematurely discharging him from the hospital.

The 20-page judgment details the events that unfolded after a man was transported to hospital after losing consciousness.

There is a publication ban on the name of the patient.

Vonniessen, an emergency room doctor with 20 years, ordered three electrocardiograms (ECGs) and troponin tests to check the patient's regulatory protein levels.

In the doctor's testimony in front of the Collège des Médecins, he said he relied too heavily on the results of the troponin tests and not enough on the apparent irregularities in the ECGs. He discharged the patient, who died a few hours later.

The Collège noted that Vonniessen's actions were unacceptable considering how much experience he had working in an ER.

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