If your necrotising fasciitis was not diagnosed quickly enough by medical professionals, causing you further pain and suffering, you could be entitled to claim compensation. To find out more, you need to speak to a solicitor about the care you received.
How do doctors miss a diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis?
Necrotising fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection. It happens when a type of bacteria get into the body and reproduce. As they do so they release a poisonous toxin that kills the tissue and underlying fascia.
But just because it is a rare condition does not mean that medical professionals are excused when the fail to make a timely diagnosis. Indeed, a patient with necrotising fasciitis will be displaying the generalised signs of a severe infection. These include a high white blood cell count, fever and in some cases, low blood pressure. These symptoms should immediately alert doctors to the presence of a serious infection and steps should be taken to verify the cause. This will lead to a timely diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis.
Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case. We have sadly heard from many patients who presented to their GP or A&E department with the symptoms described above, but were then discharged home or admitted to hospital but without receiving the correct treatment. Often this is because doctors dismiss a patient’s symptoms for a more minor condition, or because they are at a complete loss as to what the diagnosis is.
Consequences of a delayed diagnosis
A delayed diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis is extremely dangerous. This is because the toxins released by the bacteria will continue to attack the tissue, which will eventually become necrotic. As the bacteria spread across the body (which they do so at an alarming rate), more and more tissue will become necrotic. Eventually this will leave a large defect, while the infection may also spread to the blood, which can causes sepsis and organ failure.
Have you suffered because of a delayed diagnosis?
Despite being a rare condition, medical professionals should be able to use to recognise a severe infection. They should appreciate the need for urgent diagnostic tests, which should then produce an accurate diagnosis. Even if necrotising fasciitis is not at first considered, these steps should ensure that a diagnosis is obtained within a short space of time.
If there is a failure to make a timely diagnosis and this causes a patient prolonged suffering and unnecessary injuries, there will be grounds for a compensation claim.