Like anyone else, doctors tend to go with what they know. Since so many conditions share the same symptoms, a doctor could make the wrong diagnosis if he or she doesn’t take more time to determine what the issue really is. In some cases, the delay in coming to the correct diagnosis does not cause significant harm to you, but in others, it could be life threatening.
When an initial diagnosis is incorrect, the corresponding treatment will most likely not work. This means that your condition could continue to deteriorate until the right diagnosis occurs, at which time you will receive the right treatment. That treatment may come soon enough to save your life, but not soon enough to prevent permanent damage.
Just because a condition does not arise often, that does not mean that it can’t occur. Necrotizing fasciitis may be one of these diseases. If a doctor fails to properly diagnose your condition right away, then your life could be in danger. This rare bacterial infection can spread through your body quickly. In many cases, antibiotics are not enough to cure it. Many people need surgery. How extensive the surgery is could depend on how quickly you receive the right diagnosis and treatment.
Your doctor should notice the following symptoms and begin to act quickly:
- A fever
- A swollen or red area that seems to spread rapidly
- Severe pain in and around the area that is red or swollen
- Black spots, blisters or ulcers on the skin
- Changes in skin color
- Oozing or pus coming from the wound site
It’s common for patient suffering from necrotizing fasciitis to suffer complications due to the condition. You could suffer from organ failure and septic shock. You could spend a significant amount of time in the hospital, and if you survive, it could be with lifelong health consequences. You could even lose a limb if the infection spreads too far without treatment.
Your doctor may have failed you
It’s possible that your doctor failed in his or her duty to you. Your treatment fell below the acceptable standard of care, which led to your suffering from this rare but debilitating bacterial infection. It may be possible to pursue restitution for the financial losses and other damages you suffered as a result of a delayed or misdiagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis.