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Failure to diagnosis flesh-eating bacteria leads to death

Michigan doctors owe each and every patient their upmost care, no matter their age, gender or economic status. When at the doctor, people should know they are going to leave better off. They should not have to question whether their doctor has made the right diagnosis. Unfortunately for some in the Ann Arbor area and throughout the U.S., that simply is not the case. Doctors make mistakes and overlook symptoms, which can lead to misdiagnosis and medical malpractice.

In some cases, diseases and illnesses are so severe that misdiagnosis, even by a few days, can even cause death. That is what happened to one Michigan woman.

The 33-year-old woman sought medical care on June 23. After going to a local hospital, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. The doctor also lanced a spot that was infected on her leg. The doctor then sent her home with a prescription for pain medication.

However, it soon became apparent something else was going on. Doctors later diagnosed her with Necrotizing Fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, and hospitalized her. She was sent to three different hospitals and treated for over a month before doctors determined she was better. Still, twelve days later, the woman died from the infection.

The woman's family is now questioning whether the doctor who initially examined the woman in June missed something, especially since he did no blood work. They worry with good cause, since, according to experts, many cases of flesh-eating bacteria are misdiagnosed or found too late by doctors.

If the doctors were negligent in diagnosing this woman's case of Necrotizing Fasciitis, then her family may recover compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to her family, the woman was not rich and was underinsured. Her husband has now been left with a pile of medical bills. A medical malpractice suit could pay those medical bills, and compensate him for his pain and suffering.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Mich. flesh-eating bacteria patient dies," Patricia Anstett, Aug. 1, 2012

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