The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
Call Today 806-370-6270

Dermatologists could prevent the misdiagnosis of cellulitis

Many Texas residents are diagnosed with cellulitis each year, but a study published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that about a third of them may actually be suffering from other skin conditions. Doctors do not currently have a way to diagnose cellulitis reliably, which is a problem because a number of other medical conditions present similar symptoms to the bacterial skin infection. These conditions are known as pseudocellulitis, and researchers at a leading Massachusetts hospital evaluated 165 emergency room patients who had been diagnosed with cellulitis to find out how many of them were actually suffering from similar, but less serious, skin problems.

Dermatologists from Brigham and Women's Hospital determined that a third of the cellulitis patients they examined actually had pseudocellulitis. The dermatologists concluded that antibiotics had been prescribed unnecessarily 82.4 percent of the time and recommended that half of the patients they examined be sent home. A follow-up study of the discharged patients was ordered, and none of them reported that their symptoms had got worse.

If the findings at Brigham and Women's Hospital are reflective of the nation's health care system as a whole, the misdiagnosis of cellulitis causes between 34,000 and 91,000 Americans to be needlessly exposed to powerful antibiotic drugs each year. The study also suggests that the problem costs medial facilities between $80 million and $210 million every year and results in patients spending up to 256,000 unnecessary days in hospitals.

Medial malpractice cases involving a failure to diagnose are often initiated by patients who were harmed because a serious medical condition was overlooked or the proper tests were not performed. However, personal injury attorneys with experience in this area may also file this kind of lawsuit when doctors prescribe drugs with harmful side effects to treat benign conditions that they mistakenly believed were serious diseases.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
FindLaw Network

Contact Me For A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy