Virginia reprimands psychiatrist Walter S. Jennings over lithium treatment

August 11, 2012

On March 27, 2012, the Virginia Board of Medicine reprimanded psychiatrist Walter Stanley Jennings due to failure to uphold the standard of care in a patient whom he treated with lithium.

According to the Board’s order, Jennings failed to obtain and document obtaining the patient’s informed consent for the use of lithium and the potential risks and benefits of the drug.

He also neglected to evaluate and document the patient’s current symptoms, a diagnosis and other rudimentary initial actions.

Prior to prescribing lithium to the patient, Jennings failed to order or obtain or review diagnostic results related to renal and function, among other things.

During the four years he prescribed lithium to the patient, he did not periodically order renal or thyroid tests.

The patient’s serum lithium levels were obtained only once, by a nurse practitioner, after the patient complained of side effects including tremors and sedation.

Source: Order in re: Walter Stanley Jennings, Jr., M.D., License No. 0101-034383, Before the Virginia Board of Medicine.


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