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Mother of Four Dies After Sepsis is Misdiagnosed

By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Sep 4, 2017

A dream vacation turned into a horror story when Liz Fairclough, a mother of four, wife, and grandmother of one , died when she developed sepsis from an infected cut on her leg, and the condition was misdiagnosed. Had the condition been properly diagnosed and treated, it is likely that Fairclough would have survived the infection.

Infection Developed from Scratch on Leg

According to an article published in Daily Mail, the sepsis that killed Mrs. Fairclough developed from a scratch on her leg that she acquired while swimming. For whatever reason – perhaps that she had suffered a fall a few days earlier – Bulgarian medics mistook the pain that Fairclough was experiencing as originating from a torn muscle. As such, they sent her home.

Sepsis is a very serious infection, one that can be life-threatening when it is not treated. The infection causes a severe inflammatory response in the body, causing the body to attack itself. Ultimately, this can lead to organ failure, septic shock, and a severe drop in blood pressure.

Failure to Diagnose Leads to Death

After being sent home, Fairclough returned to the hospital, complaining of agonizing pain. She underwent surgery to alleviate pressure on her leg, but the infection in her body continued to spread. While she was placed in an intensive care unit, she continued to deteriorate, ultimately dying.

An inquest determined that earlier treatment and diagnosis would have prevented her death.

The Importance of an Accurate Diagnosis

The incident highlights the importance of an accurate diagnosis.   diagnosis of sepsis is a serious problem in the United States , commonly leading to the rapid deterioration of a patient’s condition, or the proliferation of cancer cells, to the point where life-saving treatment is not possible. Misdiagnosis is so common in the United States that it is estimated that most Americans will be misdiagnosed at least once.

The rates of misdiagnosis can be reduced by more patient participation, as well as a greater degree of physician care. If you are suffering from a health condition, it is important that you ask your doctor questions, seek a second opinion, and follow up regularly.

What to Do if You Are Affected by a Misdiagnosis

If you have suffered a significant amount of harm that you would not have experienced otherwise as a direct result of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, or if you are the surviving family member of a loved one who suffered fatal harm, our experienced failure to diagnose attorneys can help you. Doctors owe you a duty to do everything reasonable to determine the source of the symptoms you are suffering, and promptly treat those symptoms. When that duty is breached, and patient harm occurs, a medical malpractice lawsuit is possible.

To learn more or begin the process today, schedule a free consultation with our lawyers by calling our offices directly.

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