Washington physician charged with unprofessional conduct after patient dies

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The Washington state Department of Health has charged a physician with unprofessional conduct after he allegedly failed to test a patient for heart problems, and the patient died days later of cardiac arrest, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The department of health announced the charge against Jared Guenter Wolfert, DO, in January. He was charged in November, but the death occurred in 2018, according to the report. Dr. Wolfert, who practices at Richland, Wash.-based Kadlec Regional Medical Center, disputes the charge. 

According to the department of health, a 58-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure was brought to the emergency department in mid-November 2018 experiencing back pain, near loss of consciousness and unusual sweating. 

The department of health said there is no evidence that Dr. Wolfert performed tests on the patient to determine if his symptoms could be caused by heart issues. The physician discharged the patient from the ER with prescriptions for an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant, the state said, according to the report. 

The patient went into cardiac arrest shortly after he was released from the ER, and he died two days later. 

Kadlec said it cannot comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing. 

"Kadlec is dedicated to the highest standards of patient safety," Kadlec said in a statement to the Tri-City Herald. "We take any and all concerns about patient safety extremely seriously and fully investigate as appropriate." 

Dr. Wolfert is employed at Kadlec through a contract with a physician staffing company. 

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