Is it malpractice/negligence if a surgeon performs a biopsy with a dog bite on his hand and the surgery results in MRSA and then sepsis?

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Is it malpractice/negligence if a surgeon performs a biopsy with a dog bite on his hand and the surgery results in MRSA and then sepsis?

By his own admission, the wound on his hand was a dog bite. My brother has lymphoma and treatment had to be delayed due to MRSA. They wanted him to do the treatment for that at home. Something happened to where he became delirious, very low blood pressure, severe pain in the abdomen obviously because of lymphoma in that area. His oncologist called one day and said to

immediately halt MRSA treatment and get to the hospital ASAP. While he was in ICU, the infection

advanced to sepsis causing kidney failure and possibly other organs to fail. This is as much as I

can provide; this is the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

Asked on February 2, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It's malpractice IF there is some medical evidence or expert opinion that 1) it was negligent or careless for the surgeon to do the biopsy with the dog bite on his hand (that is, a reasonable doctor would not do this); and 2) the dog bite on the surgeon's hand caused the MRSA and sepsis. That is, you need evidence and a reason to believe that this was both careless and the cause of your brother's problems--you cannot simply assume that was the case. So the first question is, what have you heard from other doctors about the surgeon's decision to do the biopsy and the cause of the MRSA and sepsis?


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