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Misdiagnosis leads to flesh-eating bacteria

Miami, Florida, residents are used to visiting the hospital from time to time seeking treatment for various conditions. Even seemingly small matters like sore throats, coughs and constant headaches can spur these trips. While we hope that the condition is as minimal as we think, we expect doctors and medical staff to recognize if the condition is something worse.

Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Health professionals sometimes fail to diagnose conditions. These missed diagnoses can lead to a lifetime of medical treatment or even death. Miami residents should know that these instances can happen anywhere and that they are preventable mistakes.

One woman's shocking story in Michigan paints the picture all-too-well. This woman was suffering from something we all have at one time or another: a sore throat. She went to the hospital for treatment and was given pain medication. Later that day, the woman returned to the hospital, stating that her throat had become worse. She was again given pain medication, but no antibiotics.

The next day, the woman returned to the hospital for a third time. Her throat was much worse. After an examination, doctors realized that the woman had a bacterial infection that had progressed from strep throat to flesh-eating bacteria. The woman now faces years of recovery that could have been prevented.

Medical professionals should be careful in assuming that symptoms of minor conditions are in fact minor. Seemingly small problems could be the underlying symptoms of something very serious, even deadly. The victim in this case received compensation, but the physical damage had already been done.

Source: UPI.com, "Hospital to pay $755,000 for infection," April 26, 2012

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