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Misdiagnosis Of Necrotising Fasciitis

If you have suffered necrotising fasciitis but your treatment was delayed by a misdiagnosis, you could be the victim of medical negligence. To find out more, you need to contact a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

How to diagnose necrotising fasciitis

In order to diagnose necrotising fasciitis, medical professionals must first look towards a patient's symptoms. In a typical case, necrotising fasciitis will cause the sudden onset of a severe pain, along with skin that is red and hot to touch, fever and nausea.

If a patient presents to a hospital Accident and Emergency department with these complaints, the treating doctor should note that his or her symptoms correspond with the characteristic signs of necrotising fasciitis. Further investigations should then be carried out to confirm whether or not this suspicion is correct. This should involve:-

  • Blood tests to assess white blood cell count;
  • Biopsy of the infected tissue or fluid to assess the presence of infection;
  • Imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI scan to identify necrotic tissue;
  • Obtaining a consultant opinion.

If the tests result confirm a patient is suffering from necrotising fasciitis, antibiotics should be started immediately and surgical debridement performed at the earliest opportunity.

Failure to diagnose necrotising fasciitis

However, there are unfortunately occasions when medical professionals fail to diagnose necrotising fasciitis in the early stages of the disease. This often occurs because doctors mistake a patient's symptoms for a more minor condition such as cellulitis. Consequently further diagnostic tests (which would otherwise have indicated necrotising fasciitis) are not carried out.

If there is a misdiagnosis in the early stages, a patient will be discharged but continue to suffer increasingly worse symptoms. Often these will carry on until doctors recognise that their initial diagnosis was not correct, prompting additional tests. A delay such as this can, however, have a devastating effect. This is because necrotising fasciitis is a surgical emergency, meaning an operation to excise the necrotic tissue must be performed without delay. If there is a setback, the bacteria will rapidly spread, causing more and more tissue to become infected. Not only will this increase the area of skin and underlying fascia that will eventually need to be removed, it will also put the patient's health at risk, with complications such as sepsis, organ failure and death all possible.

Claiming for necrotising fasciitis misdiagnosis

If you or your loved one has suffered injury because of a wrong diagnosis, you might be entitled to compensation for the damages you have experienced. A medical negligence solicitor will be able to offer you further advice on the matter, helping you to understand your options.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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