When you walk with Ms. Wickman, you never walk alone.

Failure To Diagnose Sepsis

Medical Malpractice – Failure to diagnose sepsis – Multiorgan failure – Need for ICU and three weeks as inpatient in hospital – Patient initially given 50% chance of survival – Plaintiff substantially recovers as of one year after negligence.

Kings County, NY

The plaintiff, then 40, who had undergone a laser hemorrhoidectomy that was performed by the defendant colorectal surgeon, contended that when he informed the physician two days after the outpatient procedure, that he had developed a fever, the defendant physician negligently failed to examine him and advised him that since his 4-year-old daughter had a virus, he probably caught it from her. The plaintiff contended that the condition continued to worsen and when he had a 103.4 fever two days later, he went to the ER. He was discharged the same day. The plaintiff maintained that although the culture started to grow out bacteroides ureolyticus, reflecting a life-threating infection in his bloodstream. Although the hospital lab conducting the testing left a message on the ER’s answering machine, the plaintiff was not informed of the results and of his need for admission. The plaintiff contended that his condition continued to deteriorate and that as of approximately one week after the laser procedure, he was severely jaundiced, was hallucinating, had continuing fever, chills and nausea, and was brought to the co-defendant, his family physician. The plaintiff maintained that this physician ordered an ultrasound and blood work. The ultrasound was normal but blood work showed markedly abnormal liver functioning. Despite this, the plaintiff was not advised to go to the emergency room. The plaintiff maintained that his condition continued to deteriorate over the next two days until he called an ambulance and went to the ER. The plaintiff contended that by this time, he suffered multisystem organ failure with encephalopathy. The plaintiff was immediately placed in ICU and was given a 50-50 chance of survival. He was then transferred to the floor and his total hospitalization was three weeks. The plaintiff maintained that he suffered extreme fatigue and weakness, which gradually improved over the next approximate one-year period. The plaintiff made no income claims. The case settled prior to trial for $300,000 from the hospital and $200,000 from the family physician.