Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis of Infection

Six days after undergoing hip replacement surgery and rehabilitation, Alice Underwood, 82, was admitted to Victor Valley Global Medical Center for treatment of a urinary tract infection and dehydration. She suffered a surgical site infection while she was hospitalized, which caused her incision to separate.

Underwood underwent surgery to remove necrotic tissue, after which she was sent to a rehabilitation facility. Twenty-six days later, she died of cardiopulmonary arrest and infection. Underwood was survived by her three adult daughters and a son.

The Underwood family, through a daughter, individually and on behalf of the Underwood estate, sued the hospital alleging it chose not to provide wound care to Underwood for 12 days during her hospitalization. The lawsuit also alleged that the hospital’s nurse negligently sent Underwood to the rehabilitation facility without the appropriate and necessary antibiotics.
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A Texas state appellate court has held that a plaintiff expert’s report was adequate in a case brought by the parents whose child died after receiving inadequate treatment for a respiratory infection. Luz Del Carmen Rodriguez and Victor Velazquez took their infant son to the office of a pediatrician, Dr. Satbir Chhina.

A nurse practitioner diagnosed the baby as having respiratory syncytial virus and prescribed Tylenol and nebulizer treatments. Dr. Chhina later signed off on the treatment plan that was presented to him by the nurse practitioner. However, the next day, the baby became unresponsive. He was transferred to a hospital, where he died of cardio-pulmonary arrest. An autopsy revealed that the child’s death resulted from sepsis originating from a bacterial infection.

Rodriguez and Velazquez sued Dr. Chhina and the nurse practitioner, alleging medical negligence. The plaintiffs offered the expert report of Dr. Armando Correa, a board-certified pediatrician who specialized in pediatric infectious disease.
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Lisa-Maria Carter, 45, was seen as an outpatient at Tampa General Hospital to remove an ovarian cyst. The staff physician, Dr. Larry Glazerman, performed a Hassan laparoscopic procedure aided by two resident physicians.

During the surgery, Dr. Glazerman transected Carter’s bowel. She was admitted to the patient floor several hours after the surgery. She experienced severe pain and abnormally low blood pressure. In addition, her incision opened, discharging a large amount of bloody fluid.

Carter’s condition continued to worsen until she was diagnosed as suffering from acute respiratory failure, hypotension, organ failure and sepsis.
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Joan Simmons, 58, was experiencing acute back pain. She went to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital. She was treated and released. Her back pain continued.

Eight days after the back pain started, she returned to the hospital complaining of an altered mental status. Testing revealed a blood stream infection.

An infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sarah Barbour, examined Simmons, who then began to experience progressive leg weakness.

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Russell Kazda, 50, developed a splinter wound in his right pinky finger. A hand specialist, Dr. James Schlenker, performed a surgical procedure to remove the splinter. In doing so, Dr. Schlenker opened Kazda’s palm to examine his tendon. About a week after this procedure, Kazda returned to Dr. Schlenker and was diagnosed as having an infection in that finger, which required debridements and skin grafting. Kazda now has significant disfigurement on his ring and pinky fingers resulting from that infection, which spread to the rest of his hand.

Kazda filed a lawsuit against Dr. Schlenker and his practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., maintaining that the doctor chose not to diagnose the infection and correctly prescribe IV antibiotics.

The lawsuit claimed that the infection, pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis, was already present before Dr. Schlenker performed the procedure to remove the splinter. The lawsuit also asserted that the follow-up appointment with Dr. Schlenker should have been scheduled for the day after the surgery, which would have prevented the infection from spreading to the rest of Kazda’s hand.
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Michael Shimko was 17 years old when he went to the Geisinger-Kistler Clinic for treatment of what he thought was a hemorrhoid. A second-year resident, Dr. Christian Basque, diagnosed a hemorrhoid without examining Shimko. Dr. Basque prescribed a rectal suppository.

Eight months later, Shimko’s mother contacted Dr. Stephen Evans, Shimko’s family physician, and reported that the supposed hemorrhoid, which she described as a lump on his buttocks, had become large and painful. Dr. Evans reviewed Shimko’s medical records, refilled the suppository prescription and instructed the staff to refer Shimko to a colorectal surgeon. The referral was never made.

Over the next fourteen months, after Shimko’s initial visit to the clinic, he became unable to sit, prompting a visit to an urgent care clinic. There, medical providers diagnosed a complex pilonidal abscess. A pilonidal abscess or cyst occurs in the cleft at the top of the buttocks. The cyst and abscess can cause severe pain and often becomes infected.
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James Woodard was 64 years old and underwent the first of a two-part elective back surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital. While Woodard was hospitalized, he was unknowingly exposed to MRSA, an infectious process that is hard to eradicate and usually contracted in hospitals.

One month after the first surgical procedure, Woodard underwent pre-operative procedures at the same hospital in anticipation of the second portion of his back surgery. After his second surgery, a nasal swab was positive for MRSA. Blood cultures returned two weeks later confirmed this finding. Woodard developed spinal osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and had numerous treatments, including surgeries, antibiotics and debridement to try remove the infection. Woodard required 135 days of hospital care and treatment at a rehabilitation facility.

He still requires medical care and now requires a wheelchair because of his condition. Woodard had been a city employee who planned to retire in just a few years.
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In 2011, Sean Elliott filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Resurgens P.C. and Dr. Tapan Daftaria. The lawsuit alleged that Elliott ended up with paralysis because treating physician Dr. Tapan Daftaria chose not to timely diagnose and treat an abscess in Elliott’s thoracic spine.

During the jury trial, he attempted to call Savannah Sullivan, a nurse. She was not identified as a potential witness in Elliott’s written discovery responses or in the parties’ pre-trial order.

The trial judge excluded Sullivan as a witness. After the jury returned a defense verdict for Resurgens and Dr. Daftaria, Elliott appealed to the court of appeals arguing that the trial judge’s exclusion of Sullivan was an error. The court of appeals in Georgia agreed, reversing the jury’s verdict and remanding the case for a new trial.
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Ana Pereira, 29, was admitted to Monmouth Medical Center where she was diagnosed as having a kidney stone and renal colic. Her condition continued to deteriorate. Blood cultures were positive for bacterial growth by noon of the next day. Pereira underwent a successful procedure to drain her kidney after one failed attempt. However, she developed sepsis.

As a result of the sepsis, Pereira fell into a coma for 5 days and suffered a loss of peripheral circulation. Because of the lack of circulation, bilateral leg amputations and the removal of her left hand at the wrist were necessary.

Pereira sued four physicians who treated her at the medical center alleging negligent treatment of the kidney stone. She also alleged that an on-call urologist chose not to timely report to the hospital when the facility notified his employer of her condition. Pereira claimed that the employer of the urologist had contracted to handle emergency calls from the hospital despite the one-hour driving distance between the practice and the hospital, which precluded a medically acceptable response time.
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Danielle Reardon underwent endoscopic sinus surgery with bilateral septoplasty at Tinley Woods Surgery Center in Tinley Park, Ill., on Dec. 7, 2005. The surgery was completed by the defendant, Dr. Joseph Gavron, who is an otolaryngologist. Dr. Gavron was to treat Reardon’s chronic pansinusitis and deviated nasal septum. At the end of the surgery, Dr. Gavron packed her nose with gel, foam and gauze soaked in a topical antibiotic. No oral post-op antibiotics were prescribed by Dr. Gavron.

She experienced what were described as unbearable headaches while recovering the next day. With no relief from the headaches, she took two doses of Vicodin. Continuing with the unbearable headaches, Reardon called 911 and was transported by ambulance to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., where she given two doses of morphine and the antibiotic Unasyn.

She later became unresponsive with an altered state of consciousness. She was then treated empirically with broad spectrum antibiotics for bacterial meningitis.

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