The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norma L. Shapiro, S.J.
Plaintiff, Orlando Baez, a prisoner incarcerated at SCI-Greene, filed a civil rights action under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Baez claims that defendants, various prison officials and doctors at SCI-Greene and SCI-Graterford, failed to provide him with necesssary treatment for lupus and rectal bleeding. Baez moves for a preliminary injunction requiring defendants to provide him with a dermatology consultation to evaluate his symptoms of lupus and a gastroenterology consultation to determine the reason for his rectal bleeding. Baez' motion will be denied.
Baez is a prisoner previously incarcerated at SCI-Graterford and currently incarcerated at SCI-Greene. Defendant Dr. Byunghak Jin, a general surgeon at SCI-Greene, is employed by Prison Health Services. (Hr'g Tr. 72-73, May 6, 2008). Defendant Dr. Stanley Falor, a general practitioner employed by Prison Health Services, has worked at SCI-Greene since January, 1994. (Hr'g Tr. 171-73, May 6, 2008.) Baez testified Dr. Falor took his complaints seriously and treated him better than the other physicians. (Hr'g Tr. 67, May 6, 2008.) Dr. Falor has not been involved in Baez's care since August, 2006. (Hr'g Tr. 38, May 7, 2008.)
Baez alleges that since 2004, he has had constant pain in his stomach, chest, and heart. (Hr'g Tr. 33-34, 131, May 6, 2008.) Baez testified he submitted sick call slips to SCI-Greene staff, but they ignored him, laughed, or walked away. (Hr'g Tr. 32, May 6, 2008). The pain medication provided to Baez was ineffective. (Hr'g Tr. 32, May 6, 2008.) Dr. Jin acknowledged Baez had complained about stomach and abdominal pain, and ineffectiveness of pain medication, since arriving at SCI-Greene. (Hr'g Tr. 134-35, May 6, 2008.)
After evaluating Baez's symptoms, Dr. Falor referred Baez to Dr. David E. Seaman, a rheumatologist who specializes in lupus. (Pl.'s Ex. P-1-F; Hr'g Tr. 174-75, May 6, 2008.) Lupus is a chronic, inflammatory systemic disease that can affect different organs in the body. (Seaman Dep. 8.) There are two types of lupus: skin lupus, causing skin rashes, and systemic lupus, affecting the nervous, circulatory, lung and cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. (Seaman Dep. 9-10.) Skin lupus can become systemic lupus. (Hr'g Tr. 89, May 6, 2008.) Systemic lupus can be fatal. (Hr'g Tr. 77, 170, May 6, 2008; Seaman Dep. 64.)
There is no single diagnostic test for lupus; diagnosis depends on evaluating a number of symptoms and test results. (Seaman Dep. 11-12.) Symptoms of lupus include: malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, serositis, renal disorder, neurologic disorder, hematologic disorder, immunologic disorder, high anti-double strain DNA level, and high antinuclear antibody level. (Seaman Dep. 13; Pl.'s Ex. P-10.) Lupus has both latent and active stages, and symptoms can appear and recede. (Hr'g Tr. 78-79, 174, May 6, 2008.)
Lupus has no cure, but treatment can slow progression of the disease. (Seaman Dep. 58.) Skin lupus is treated with topical creams and oral medication. (Seaman Dep. 73.)
Dr. Seaman saw Baez on June 29, 2006, and April 16, 2008. Dr. Seaman was not provided with Baez's medical records prior to the June, 2006 examination, and did not speak with Dr. Falor or Dr. Jin prior to or after examining Baez. (Seaman Dep. 23.) Dr. Seaman observed excoriated, or "scabby," lesions on Baez's arms, back, trunk, and legs. (Seaman Dep. 33-34.) In his June 29, 2006, report, Dr. Seaman stated he doubted Baez had systematic lupus but wanted to rule it out; he planned the following:
(1) Will obtain CBC, CR, LFT, TSH, ANA, DNA, ENA, C3, C4-SSA/B, CR, U/A.
(2) X-ray C spine and LS spine.
(4) Suggest referral to GI, cardiology and dermatology. This will be ...