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Lawsuit filed over hospital's failure to diagnose man's condition

Hospitals in Illinois and throughout the country routinely make errors in their care of patients. In most situations, these errors are reparable and patients recover and may even be unaware something amiss occurred. However, some errors by medical providers can prove fatal. The survivors of a man who passed away last year have recently sued a hospital, other medical groups and physicians in another state for failure to diagnose his condition.

A 43-year-old man died from a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis, a disease that destroys soft tissue under the skin. The man initially went to a medical clinic with a fever and other symptoms, including a headache, cough, body aches and congestion. He tested negative for the flu and strep and was sent home with a prescription of Tamiflu. The man went to the emergency department of a hospital three days later with complaints of intense pain and swelling in his leg. He was diagnosed with deep-vein thrombosis and flu-like symptoms, and he was discharged with an anti-coagulant medication.

While at this hospital, his family had asked that he be sent to another facility for a complete evaluation, but the request was denied, and they were told no emergency testing would be done that night. However, by the next morning, his leg pain had become so intense he had to return by ambulance to the emergency room. Later that morning, the patient met the criteria for risk of limb loss for Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, yet there was still no order for antibiotics or intravenous fluids.

Physicians did not administer antibiotics, though family members believed he may have had a bacterial infection. When he was transported to a major medical facility, he was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which required amputation of his leg. Attempts to fight the infection failed, and he died. The family filed a lawsuit that claimed the proper diagnostic tests were not performed and the defendants were negligent in their treatment.

When a loved one dies because of medical personnel's failure to diagnose a condition, family members may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can assist families during this difficult time by helping them attain compensation for their loss. A successful lawsuit could help survivors pay for medical expenses and funeral costs and provide damages for their grief and suffering.

Source: athensnews.com, "Family of man who died of bacterial infection sues hospital, several others", David Dewitt, April 16, 2017

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