Medical Malpractice: Avoidable Injuries Caused by Cellulitis

John Fisher
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Bacteria that are present on the skin do not usually cause any harm.  However, if the bacteria reaches deep into the skin, an infection can result.  Generally, bacteria reach deeper into the skin through cuts, grazes, or bites.  Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection of the dermis.  Symptoms of this infection include warmth, tenderness, inflammation, swollenness, redness, pain, and sometimes blistering around the affected area.  Treatments of this infection include keeping the area clean and dry, elevating infected areas above the heart, and when necessary taking antibiotics. 

 

People Most Susceptible to Cellulitis

 

  • Obese People – This group of people is more likely to have swelling in their legs, raising the chances of developing cellulitis.
  • People Who Have Weakened Immune Systems – This group includes patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, have AIDS/HIV, and the very elderly.
  • Diabetic People – Diabetes that is not properly treated or controlled leads to weakened immune systems.  Circulatory problems can result, leading to skin ulcers.  The poor control of blood glucose levels allows bacteria to quickly grow in affected tissue, facilitating in rapid progression should the infection enter the bloodstream.
  • People with Poor Blood Circulation – Poor circulation leads to an increased likelihood of developing skin infections because the blood supply is not ideal for fighting off infections.
  • People with Chickenpox and Shingles – These diseases cause skin blisters and if the blisters break they are ideal routs for bacteria to get into the skin.
  • People suffering from Lymphodema – People with this disease tend to have swollen skin that is more likely to crack, which are perfect entry routes for bacteria.
  • People who have Previously had Cellulitis – People who previously had this infection are at a higher risk of developing it again.
  • People who Inject Illegal Drugs – When drug addicts do not have access to a consistent supply of clean needles they are more likely to suffer infections that are deep inside the skin.
  • People who Live in Densely Populated Areas – People who share common living quarters have a higher incidence of this infection.

 

Cellulitis can lead to severe infections if it is not properly treated or managed.  The infection could potentially spread to the underlying bone and the bloodstream, resulting in sepsis.  If this infection escalated to sepsis, and you were not properly treated by you physician or hospital staff, you may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice.

 

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1 Comments
I am curious about how often doctors mistakes, or the medical facility's mistake during a procedure is the CAUSE of the cellulitis? I had a surgery on my toe early november 2012. Within 3 weeks, I was just starting to be able to be active again in the gym, a monumental case of cellulitis took over my lower leg. I spent a week in the hospital, the following week, I still couldn't walk on it, kept it elevated, continued to take the antibiotics. It is now over 7 months later, and I still take anti-inflamatories to keep the swelling from my foot/ankle area, the leg still looks bad (although docs say it will not permanently scar), and I still have mild to severe pain in my toe. Flexibility of the toe is still limited, and weight bearing ability on it is pathetic. I've been on antidepressants for a couple of months as well, related to this ordeal...i was suprised at the mental toll the ordeal was having on me, I would/could still sometimes, break down crying over the slightest thing. Its amazing to think that a simple toe surgery, which was suppose to help make my life better, has now made it soooo much worse.
by Toni Williams July 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM
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