One of the most painful injuries many children remember from childhood is the injury suffered when a finger was slammed in a car door. While the pain was excruciating and not forgotten, most recovered quickly and went on to other adventures unscathed. For one Oregon woman, the injury had a tragic outcome that resulted in a case of medical negligence as a result of multiple doctors’ failure to diagnose complications from a simple injury.
A woman slammed her hand in a car door and the next day she went to the hospital as her thumb was swollen and she felt light headed. The emergency physician diagnosed her as being dehydrated and sent her home. The next day her husband called 911 as his wife was agitated and confused. A doctor who examined her noticed discoloration and discharge at the sight of the injury and suspected necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh eating disease, and ordered her admitted to the intensive care ward. Her thumb was splinted and a doctor said he would check on her in the morning.
The woman’s condition the next morning had deteriorated and a doctor at Oregon Health and Science University recommended surgery. Following the surgery she was flown to OHSU where surgery was performed to remove her right arm and infected tissue from her chest wall. Her condition did not improve, and she died the following day. Her husband is suing for negligence for failure to promptly diagnose and treat the flesh-eating disease.
Anyone in Oregon who suffers a catastrophic loss as a result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose a possibly life-threatening condition may experience shock, grief and even anger at the situation. To find some answers, a person may benefit from a conversation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer can bring a calming presence to the situation, review the circumstances of the case and assist the client in determining if a malpractice suit is a viable option.