Do I have a case for failure to diagnose?

My doctor performed knee surgery on me. A week after surgery I was still bleeding and the incisions looked red. His physician assistant placed some antibiotic strips over the incisions. A couple of days later my incisions were still looking red and I was in excruating pain. I was seen by the doctor who performed the surgery in his office. He examined my knee and/or incisions, and gave me an order for physical therapy. Later on that same day I decided to go to the emergency room since the pain was worse. I had fluid drawn from my knee and blood work was done. I had emergency surgery the next day and was diagnosed with a staph infection and septic arthritis. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and underwent 2 more surgeries. I attended physical therapy for 4 months. I still have difficulty walking normally. I was out of

work for 6 months. Could you please advise if I have a case?

Asked on May 16, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, there is a good chance that you have a viable malpractice case: if an ER correctly diagnosed the problem but this physician and his office (the PA) failed to do so at least twice, then it us likely that their failure to diagnose was negligent, or unreasonably careless, which would be gounds to find malpractice. In addition, it's possible that the infection was caused in the first place by malpractice, such as not using completely sterile instruments or working in fully sterile conditions, or not sealing, etc. the incission properly. Since with continuing walking difficulty ("pain and suffering"), 6 months loss of wages, and additional medical costs, you could have a substantial claim, it would be well worth your while to meet with a medical malpractice attorney.


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