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Necrotizing Fascitis

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Medical Malpractice Victims

Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection that sometimes arises after an injury or surgery. Because necrotizing fasciitis spreads rapidly, doctor faced with its symptoms must correctly diagnose and treat the infection with antibiotics. Failure to receive a timely diagnosis or treatment can result in death. If you suspect you were harmed or a loved one died due to a health care provider’s response to necrotizing fasciitis, you should talk to an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare, aggressive infection that can be caused by different groups of bacteria, including group A streptococcus, which is also responsible for strep throat. Necrotizing fasciitis occurs when bacteria enter the body through a puncture wound, surgical wound, insect bite, abrasion, or burn and infects the connective tissue beneath the skin. If doctors do not quickly treat the infection, it begins to destroy fat, skin and muscle tissue and can cause irreversible damage. It may even be fatal.

Liability for Necrotizing Fasciitis

In order to recover damages for medical malpractice associated with necrotizing fasciitis, your lawyer will need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a professional duty of care by the defendant, (2) departure from the professional duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A doctor can breach the professional duty of care by conducting an improper differential diagnosis. This is a process whereby a health care provider creates a list of potential diagnoses and then tests each one of them to eliminate every possibility, except the correct diagnosis. Doctors can also breach the professional standard of care by misreading test results, not quickly treating the necrotizing fasciitis with antibiotics, or administering an improper antibiotic or dose. Your lawyer will need to retain a knowledgeable expert to determine what the professional of care was; it depends on what a reasonably competent health care provider in the same specialty and geographic location would have done.

Your health care provider should be attentive to the possibility of a necrotizing fasciitis diagnosis and test to identify it so it can be treated. Symptoms appear within 24 hours of infection, in most cases, and include fever, nausea, inflammation, and significant pain. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of the illness are also issues that commonly arise after surgery. Certain medical conditions increase your risk of necrotizing fasciitis, including diabetes, cancer, alcohol abuse, chickenpox, heart disease, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, use of IV drugs or injectables, steroid use, and peripheral vascular disease.

If you can establish liability, you can recover compensatory damages. The nature and amount of damages depends on the degree of injury. For instance, some patients require life-saving surgery and must remain in intensive care before transitioning to a long, expensive course of rehabilitation. You may be able to recover your lost income, the medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, as well as loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering arising out of necrotizing fasciitis.

Wrongful Death

In order to establish a claim for wrongful death due to necrotizing fasciitis, you’ll need to prove: (1) a death of a loved one that is covered by New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Code Part 4, (2) caused by a defendant’s wrongful conduct, (3) that gives rise to a cause of action the decedent could have pursued in court if death hadn’t happened, (4) survival by one or more people who have suffered a loss due to the death and damages sustained by the estate. Only a personal representative of the decedent can pursue a wrongful death claim. However, the personal representative holds a damages award in trust for the estate and surviving heirs, beneficiaries, and devisees who have suffered a loss.

You can recover damages for losses such as burial and funeral expenses, support and services given to family members, parental nurturing and guidance, wages and benefits, reasonable health care expenses linked to a decedent’s necrotizing fasciitis, conscious pain and suffering of the decedent because of the final illness, and lost inheritance.

Retain a Seasoned Syracuse Attorney

If you were harmed or a loved one died due to misdiagnosed or mistreated necrotizing fasciitis, you should talk over your situation with the seasoned lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent patients and their families in cities around Upstate New York such as Rochester, Syracuse, Lowville, Watertown, Auburn, Oswego, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Elmira, Wampsville, Herkimer, Binghamton, and Utica. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or complete our online form.

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