Disease Treatment Leads to Multiple Amputations

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on January 10, 2022

Infectious DiseaseThis case takes place in New Jersey and involves a patient who presented to the emergency room with symptoms that were diagnosed as a minor sinus infection. She was given a round of antibiotics, as well as recommendations for several over-the-counter remedies,  and sent home. The treating physician declined to perform any further diagnostic tests. Less than 2 days later, the patient was found unconscious and was again rushed to the hospital emergency room. She was diagnosed with a serious respiratory infection, which caused her blood pressure to bottomed out, at which point she was given vasopressors. The action of the vasopressin drugs made it necessary for the patient to have all of his fingers and toes amputated. It is alleged that earlier, and more aggressive, treatment of his infection would have prevented this outcome.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please explain your experience treating patients who present with similar symptoms. Please explain your qualifications to review this case and opine on causation.
  • 2. Do you have specific experience with the H1N1 flu virus?
  • 3. Have you ever reviewed a similar case? Please explain.

Expert Witness Response E-009394

Certainly sounds like a tragic case. I would think key elements relate to the signs/symptoms present during visit at Urgent care. This sort of infection can cause a pneumonia that is highly fatal. Alternately, this bacteria alone can cause severe pneumonia. I have experience with this infection both managing patients and from infection prevention perspective. I have reviewed similar cases. All have involved pneumonia after this particular infection. I am an associate professor of infectious disease with >70 publications in the area and current grants on hospital infection prevention. I have cared for many similar infections.

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