43% Of Medical Errors Occur In Outpatient SettingsPublished: Jul 08, 2011 in Medical Malpractice
The selection of medical providers is a serious decision whenever you or a member of your family requires attention, Alabama medical malpractice attorney Keith T. Belt says.
Most people receive health care in outpatient settings, with more than 950 million visits to physician offices annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This new study yielded surprising findings with a remarkably high number of cases in the outpatient setting, and the outcomes are not trivial, since the most common outcomes were major injury or death.
An example of this occurred when a woman went to an urgent care center in Grand Junction, Colo., in January 2009 to have her right foot examined. She did not think she had a serious problem, but it was swollen and sore, and red around the joint of her big toe. The physician assistant who examined her gave her a diagnosis of gout, prescribed pain pills, and a gout medication, and sent her back to the hotel where she was staying.
After two days in bed with worsening pain, she noticed red streaks running up her leg past her knee and realized it could be a sign of serious infection. Upon returning to the urgent care center, the doctor on duty called an ambulance to transport her to the hospital. Tests showed she had necrotizing fasciitis, commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, a potentially life-threatening infection that destroys soft tissue. Over the months that followed, doctors amputated more and more as they struggled to contain the infection with her leg now ending an inch below the knee.