When people in Oklahoma seek medical care, they expect professionalism from their doctors and nurses. At minimum, they want to ensure that they receive an appropriate diagnosis for their condition so that the best treatment plan can be put into place. One condition that is often misdiagnosed is cellulitis, a skin infection caused by streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria entering into broken or irritated skin.
The condition can become severe, and may result in disability, amputation or even death. For this reason, many doctors and nurses look for common cellulitis symptoms, which can include swelling, inflammation and tenderness.
Unfortunately, there are situations in which health care professionals make mistakes when offering a diagnosis. A recent study showed that cellulitis misdiagnoses are relatively common and add hundreds of millions of dollars to annual health care costs. In some cases, patients who have been misdiagnosed as having cellulitis have been subjected to unnecessary hospitalizations and antibiotic therapy.
Hospital admission alone can have adverse effects on a patient. In addition to the added expense of paying for hospital care, patients have been known to pick up infections while in a hospital setting. Similarly, unnecessary antibiotics can have a negative impact on a person's overall health.
Individuals who believe that they or a family member were misdiagnosed with cellulitis may benefit from speaking with a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the client's case and make helpful recommendations about how to seek compensation for damages, time off from work and medical expenses.