Doctor Misdiagnoses Woman and Fails to Complete Full Examination; Woman Dies Days Later!

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

I came across this rather shocking news article that resulting in the death of a woman.  Cases like these are frustrating because the patient absolutely could have been saved if the doctor had completed a thorough examination and listened to the complaints of the patient.  There has been a few other news articles circulating discussing medical malpractice and that miscommunication is one of the main causes for lawsuits.  This case, while slightly different, is similar in that aspect.

What happened was the young woman went to her primary care physician’s office with a bad sore throat.  The physician did a quick examination and prescribed her a simple medication to help ease the symptoms of the pain and soreness.  However, the physician did not do any throat culture or take any samples.  In fact, the complaint alleges that the physician did not even look down her throat!  After the prescription and “visit,” the physician sent the patient on her way and she went home.

Two days letter her family had to take her to the nearest emergency room hospital.  The patient had actually done into shock!  It turns out this was because she was suffering from acidosis, which is a very dangerous condition where there is too much acid in the body fluids and other body tissue; this is generally because the kidney is not filtering enough of it out.

For the first time, hospital staff took samples and did blood cultures to find that there was Group A streptococcus in her system.  This is an incredibility invasive and aggressive bacteria which infects a person’s body by overriding the body’s natural defenses.  The hospital immediately transferred her to another specialized hospital.  However, she died shortly after being admitted there.

The lawsuit that was just filed alleges that the primary care physician SHOULD have identified this dangerous condition if the physician actually took samples.  More specifically, the physician should have ruled out some of the more dangerous conditions that it could have been and better attempted to diagnosis her with a specific condition.  If the physician even took a simple throat culture to establish that the patient had tonsillitis (strep throat), the physician would have realized from the tests that there was a much more serious condition here.  But the physician did not do this.  An expert provided the opinion that the physician would have been able to save the patient’s life if the physician conducted these tests!

I acknowledge that primary care physicians are the most overworked specialty out there.  Unlike other countries, the United States has a significant deficiency of primary care physicians and the legislature has even tried to pull more medical students to this field by offering scholarships or tuition reimbursement.  But this case is just oversight of the BASIC duty a primary care physician has to encounter which is diagnosis.  Physicians should not just be prescribing away medication to turn over patients and increase their income. 

Not all the facts of this case have been released yet as it was just filed, but I sincerely hope that this physician faces a very tough jury.  This physician’s negligence caused the DEATH of another person only because the physician did not do a simple throat culture!  A simple throat culture!  I hope the physician is found liable and it serves as a deterrent to other physicians who are not fulfilling their job duties.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] .  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com
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