The life of a Florida college student often includes classes, friends, parties and other social events. Flesh-eating bacteria and amputations are not typically commonplace. However, an Ohio University student had to endure those two events after a misdiagnosis at the college’s health center.
In 2007, the woman, now a former student, sought medical treatment at the campus’ Hudson Health Center. She was not properly diagnosed, causing flesh-eating bacteria to cause damage to her shoulder, shoulder blade and right arm, all of which had to be amputated.
The woman filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in various courts, including the Ohio University in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and the 10th District Court of Appeals. She recently won a settlement of $250,000 in the Ohio Court of Claims. A university spokesperson said that insurance will cover most of the malpractice award.
Medical malpractice can encompass many things, including misdiagnosis, lack of treatment or testing, prescription errors, gross negligence and human error. Although doctors are human – and prone to error just like the rest of us – they have a duty to provide the best medical care possible to patients. This means recognizing common symptoms and performing follow-up testing to rule out all the possibilities.
Although contracting flesh-eating bacteria is not as common as getting, for example, a common cold or the flu, a knowledgeable doctor should be aware of the signs to look for and err on the side of caution. Additional testing should have been done to come up with a solid diagnosis. The woman – who likely had a bright future ahead of her as a college student – now has to face the challenges that come with having only one arm. If you face a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact a medical malpractice lawyer who can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Source: Athens Ohio Today, “Medical malpractice lawsuit against OU settled” Steve Robb, Aug. 08, 2013