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Patient's untreated infection leads to amputations

A patient wakes up and discovers that his hands and legs have been amputated due to an infection called methicillan-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). This infection was originally misdiagnosed and, because it was left untreated, eventually resulted in the need for the removal of the limbs.

This patient has now brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital for its repeated failure to diagnose the correct condition. The patient had been told that he was suffering from bursitis when the correct diagnosis would have been MSSA.

The misdiagnosis apparently resulted in the failure to place the patient on a regimen of antibiotics. From the information provided, it's impossible to know yet whether the administration of the antibiotics would have prevented the infection from spreading. However, the patient's 11-year old son had been successfully treated for a similar infection - just weeks before the patient was hospitalized.

The 48-year old patient was a former country correctional officer, and is currently a husband and father. If what is alleged is true, every aspect of the patient's life will be affected. He will not be able to play with his son, and his family will now have to do what it takes to care for him.

We cannot afford to have hospitals miss something as basic as the diagnosis of an infection because of the severe consequences that can follow if the patient's symptoms are not treated. Attorneys need to hold hospitals accountable for medical malpractice to prevent this type of suffering for the patients it treats. A possible misdiagnosis like the one mentioned above leads to life altering costs and almost inestimable costs.

Source: Scripps News, "MSSA infection misdiagnosis leads to multiple limbs amputated," by Cathy Locke, Nov. 16, 2012

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