The state Dept. of Health has disciplined Joseph P. Turner, D.O., of Warwick, for having "overlooked important clinical findings" in the treatment of a patient while serving as attending physician at the emergency room at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence in March 2009. Turner practices at 3462 South County Trail.
Turner will be on probation for malpracticed for five years.
The patient, 56, had had his gall bladder removed via laproscopic surgery on March 16, 2009. On March 23, the patient went to the emergency room of Our Lady of Fatima complaining of severe lower abdominal pain ("10 out of 10"). The patient was examined and released that same evening, after both the surgeon and Turner agreed to discharge the patient, with followup set with the surgeon for a few days later.
The patient was readmitted to the emergency room on March 26, where he died an hour later of peritonitis, an infection.
The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline cited Turner's failure to take into account the patient's "severity of pain, which is extraordinary after such surgery," the failure by both Turner and the surgeon to order an abdominal CT scan, and their failure to admit the man to the hospital.