Misdiagnosis Leads to Amputation & Med Mal Lawsuit

According to the Sacramento Bee, a man recently filed a new medical malpractice lawsuit after having several amputations caused by a spreading infection. The complaint in the suit suggests that a misdiagnosis and failure to timely treat the man’s condition allowed the ailment to progress to the point that the amputations were necessary. Had he receive care up to reasonable standards, he claims, then he would not have lost his limbs.

These sorts of cases are classic examples of the extreme consequences that are often directly related to mistakes made by medical providers.

According to the article the man suffered from a serious (but treable infection) known as MSSA. Medical professionals explain that when caught in time, antibiotics are usually able to deal with the infection and prevent long-term harm. The key, of course, is the timing. When a patient has the infection it is absolutely critical that the doctors identify the problem and ensure antibiotics are given as soon as possible.

The law does not hold doctors liable any time that they do not diagnose a patient in a timely manner. Sometimes there is nothing that the medical professional could have done to catch it in time.

Instead, potential civil liability in these cases exists where the medical professional was exposed to certain information but did not interpret that information properly in reaching a clear diagnosis. Over the years standards of care have developed which identify whether it was or was not reasonable for a doctor to have made a certain diagnosis based on certain information in front of him.

In this case, for example, the man claims that the medical team should have caught the MSSA. For one thing, the man’s own son had the infection and was treated at the hosptial for it. Then, when the plaintiff himself went into the hosptial with a sore, the very same physician’s assistant who treated his son, treated him. But he was not given any antibiotics. On a third visit to the hosptial a few days later–this time for shoulder pain–another assistant told him that the shoulder and sore were not connected. Instead he was misdiagnosed as having bursitis.

It wasn’t until two days later that the man collapsed at his home and was rushed back to the hosptial. It was only then that he was properly diagnosed. However, by that time it was too late. He first had his hands and feet amputated. And then his lower legs also had to be removed as part of the fight against the infection.

Legal Help for Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis in Chicago
The attorneys at our firm work with residents and families in Chicago and throughout Illinois who suspect that they might have been harmed by medical errors. We understand that it is often difficult to know for sure what actions could have been performed by your medical professional in order to minimize harm. After all, you relied on their expertise in making medical decisions to begin with, and it is sometimes a challenge to recognize when that judgment was flawed or not based on acceptable standards in their field. At these times it is important to remember that you do not have to go it alone. Legal professionals who work on these cases are able to help investigate the matter and determine what really happened. For help on these matters in our area, please take a moment to reach out to our firm online or by phone.

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