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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

Multiple amputations lead to medical malpractice suit

While everyone strives to maintain their health and avoid emergency medical care, it is virtually impossible to completely avoid treatment. At some point, an illness or injury will lead most Massachusetts residents to seek the care of a doctor or other health care provider. A recently filed medical malpractice suit reminds us that it is important to speak up when it appears that our health care needs are not being adequately met.

The suit was filed by a man who has lost both hands and legs. They were amputated in order to treat an aggressive infection known as methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). The man began seeking treatment just weeks after his son was treated for a similar infection at the same hospital.

When the man returned to the hospital just weeks following his son's treatment, he complained of a sore. He saw the same physician assistant who treated his son but was not prescribed a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics can often successfully treat a MSSA infection if the proper diagnosis is made early on.

The lawsuit asserts that the man was not properly diagnosed, an event that led to a series of medical procedures that ultimately left the man without his hands and legs. The defendant in the medical malpractice lawsuit is the hospital where the father and son received treatment; the plaintiffs say that they hope the filing leads the hospital to accept responsibility for the error and make changes in the future. A successful medical malpractice suit can lead to changes in policy that can better medical care for patients in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Amputee suing N. Calif. hospital for malpractice," Nov. 16, 2012

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