If medical professionals failed to diagnose you or your loved one with necrotising fasciitis, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. Contact a medical negligence solicitor today to find out more.
The flesh-eating disease
Necrotising fasciitis is a bacterial infection commonly referred to as the flesh-eating disease. The name is slightly misleading, as the bacteria do not actually eat the flesh. Nevertheless, the bacteria do release a poisonous toxin that causes the body’s soft tissue to break down and die, leaving an open wound in its place. It therefore appears as though the skin is being eaten.
Missed diagnosis of flesh-eating disease
Necrotising fasciitis a rare condition and it is one that medical practitioners often miss. This may either be due to a lack of knowledge, or it may be that the condition is mistaken for something else as the symptoms do mimic other, more minor diseases.
However, a missed diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis will be extremely problematic. Necrotising fasciitis is a serious infection that requires immediate treatment. Otherwise the area of dead tissue will quickly grow in size, causing a large defect that can be so deep the bone is exposed. The bacteria may also spread to the blood, and this may result in septic shock and organ failure.
Claiming compensation for a missed diagnosis
The fact that necrotising fasciitis is a rare condition is not enough to excuse a missed diagnosis. Indeed, necrotising fasciitis has all the hallmarks of a serious infection, including fever, a severe pain at the site of infection, and a skin that is red and hot to touch. There will also be clinical signs of an infection, including low blood pressure and a high CRP count (evident from a blood test).
These signs and symptoms should prompt medical practitioners to investigate the cause of infection, usually be sending culture to the laboratory for testing. This will secure an accurate diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis. A failure to recognise the signs of infection and order further investigative tests will be considered incompetent. If this leads to unnecessary injury, such as a large area of necrotic tissue, there standard of medical care will be deemed unacceptable.
If a patient has suffered preventable complications because of a missed diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.
Necrotising fasciitis claims
If you would like to know more about making a necrotising fasciitis claim, please get in touch with us today.