By: James Campbell, Tucson Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Unfortunately, infections are a way of life for modern medical care. In cities like Tucson, surgeries occur in large institutions, and large institutions are breeding grounds for aggressive infections. As a result, getting an infection from a Tucson hospital, especially after a surgery, often is not medical malpractice. It simply is one of those hazards of our modernized, institutionalized health care delivery system.
But, once a Southern Arizona patient suffers an infection, they deserve to have their doctors treat the infection seriously and with proper care.
Too often, we have observed Tucson patients see their doctor with the signs and the symptoms of an infection, only to have their health care provider not take these symptoms seriously. As with many illnesses, timely diagnoses and intervention with the correct medications are the key to successful treatment.
We have seen repeated issues with Tucson physicians and hospitals not performing the necessary, but simple, tests to determine if an infection is present. Then when the testing shows that a serious infection is present, not taking the necessary urgent steps to keep the patient from getting sicker, sometimes much sicker. Preventing malpractice is often as simple as simply following up on the tests that a doctor ordered.
Most recently, we have seen these failings in the areas of orthopedic surgery and hospital care. In both cases, the patient's infection was diagnosed by various studies, but the proper treatment was completely ignored. In both cases, simple timely treatment with common antibiotics or debridement surgery would have almost entirely prevented the horrific spread of infections these patients suffered. Months of pain, suffering, and permanent severe disfigurement could have been avoided had simple steps been taken.
Evaluating these cases to determine which injuries are the result of medical malpractice and which are unfortunate complications of our modern medical world is complicated. First, a doctor of the kind that was originally treating the patient must be consulted to determine if that doctor should have taken action to diagnose the new infection. For example, if the infection occurred because of a heart surgery, then a heart surgeon must be consulted. Then, a doctor that specialized in the treatment of infections, called an infectious disease specialist, must analyze the medical care to determine if earlier or different treatment would have made a significant difference.
At Kinerk Schmidt and Sethi, we have the expertise and expert contacts to determine which cases are the result of medical negligence, and which are simply unfortunate occurrences. We take pride in educating our clients on the process so that they understand the care they received and their rights. Even if their situation was not the result of malpractice, often our clients appreciate the understanding and insight we can provide to their situation.