Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Dr.'s words: "Let it run it's course"

Posted In: Medical Errors 9 Replies
  • Posted By: jagar100
  • August 23, 2008
  • 02:36 AM

I am so livid at a particular Dermatology Group that I take my daughter to. She's 2 years old and has moderate to severe eczema that we have been battling since her birth. I am considering suing for malpractice, or at the very least, writing a letter to the group of doctors. I need your opinion please as this could have been a fatal mistake.

05/13/08
Painful little pus-filled boils started appearing on my daughter's bottom. I made an appointment with the derm. and was told it's a secondary infection to the eczema. He prescibed Cephalexin to clear it up, and 3 other prescrip. for the eczema and itching.

05/17/08
A few days later, we noticed a spot on her arm that we just knew had to be a brown recluse bite. We have killed several in our home before. It was very painful for her and looked horrible, she wouldn't let anyone near it. Made an emergency appointment for first available opening the next day to the pediatrician and took a list of the medications the Derm. had prescribed. The Ped. assured me it was not a spider bite, but it was a staph infection. She said she is taking the appropriate antibiotic, Cephalexin. Relief.

05/27/08
Back to Derm. for the follow up. Bumps are still there, but looking better. I told him we had gone to the Ped. and that she told us it was a staph infection. He went ahead and prescribed another bottle of Cephalexin, 4 times per day for 10 days as before.

07/01/08
Bumps are still not cleared up all the way, and have spread to other areas of her body. They are sore, red and raised. Back to the Derm. who said "the Cephalexin should have cleared it up" and prescibed a double dosage, 2 bottles.

08/06/08
2 bottles later, little improvement. They never quite all go away. One or two multiplies into clusters and spread to other parts of her body.
After my own research online I have dianosed my own daughter with MRSA, which is short for Methacillin Resistant Staph. A much more serious condition. As the name implies, normal antibiotics are not effective to MRSA. This had to be what she has. My online research scared me. It's a condition that is fatal if not diagnosed and treated. And it's contagious.
Called the Derm. b/c I wanted her tested for this MRSA. Found out my Derm. had retired just a week before. Had to see the other Dr. in the group. When I made the appt. I specified that I wanted the test done. During the initial visit with the nurse, prior to the Dr. coming in, I alerted her of my suspicions after my own research. Dr. looked at her and diagnosed her with Molluscum. He said it was a common condition that will go away on it's own, but does take time, sometimes months. I asked if it was contagious because I was concerned about the babies at daycare. "No, it's not contagious". Nurse assurmed me it's not a big deal, her daughter has it, and yes, sometimes they get inflamed. Dr.'s words: "Let it runs it's course" Nurse handed me a pamphlet and I left. No acknowledgement of my own suspicions, no prescriptions, nothing. Pamphlet was titled "MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM". So it IS contagious. But after reading the pamphlet and looking at pictures and doing more online research, I was not convinced. This isn't right.

08/13/08
No sign of improvement. Major break out all over with pus-filled boils, now spreading to palms, knees, and other areas. Few days prior, my babysitter had told me she had taken her son the emergency room because she thought he had a spider bite on his leg. Looked like my daughter's spot when I had my suspicions, but about 100x worse. She also made a pediatrician appt. who prescribed Cleocin. At the time, I didn't think anything of it.
My babysitter called me at work to tell me my daughter had fever and was feeling bad. I made an emergency appt. to the pediatrician. This was a red flag if my original diagnosis was right. I am going to have to demand a test. I told her that she had been taking Cephalexin for quite sometime. I didn't tell her yet that I wanted her tested for MRSA. She took one look at it, and said "Cephalexin isn't going to clear this up. It's called MRSA" and put her on Cleocin, the antibiotic that treats bacterial infections. She even showed me the difference in the characteristics of MRSA and normal staph. It's contagious if the puss is touched by anyone. She assured me my daughter would feel better within 24 hours. I gave her the first dose before bedtime. By the very next morning, a drastic improvement! Then it hit me. She gave it to my sitter's 2 year old son. I felt horrible. I called her immediately when I thought about it and she said "well the Dr. did ask me if anyone around him had any infections, but I didn't think of any". Well ofcourse not, because I had been telling her it's not contagious, per my Dr.! Not only that, her son's leg looked MUCH worse than my daughter's arm had looked.

So, it's here that I ask your opinion, advise and anything else you have to offer. Should I write a letter to the Dr. to raise his awareness of this condition so that he does't misdianose another person in the future, or should I seek legal counseling? I have spent so much money on co pays and prescriptions it makes me angry, but that is overshadowed by my level of rage when I think of what could have happened to my daughter if I had "let it runs it's course" like I was advised!

Thanks for reading.
-Jennifer

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9 Replies:

  • Jennifer,I have children as well and let me tell you, i actually have a medical malpractice underway myself and that's what you should be looking into.It's called misdiagnosis. and it caused you emotional pain and discomfort and your child pain and discomfort. you have nothing to lose and it would put your suspicions in the hands of professionals. Like with my case, i kept thinking about it, it just didn't sit right with me so finally i looked into it. We put out trust, our lives and our childrens lives in the trust we have for these doctors. thank god your child is alright, some arent as lucky. "Let it run it's course", Imagine that!:confused:
    forgetlee 11 Replies
    • August 24, 2008
    • 01:42 AM
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  • I suggest writing a letter to the doctors and copying the insurance company and consulting a lawyer. Warning though about using the legal system. Law suits are very emotionally draining. They can take years and even if the lawyer doesn't take a fee up front (retainer) and doesn't bill you by the minute but rather works "on contingency" you will still see less than 50% of whatever settlement or judgement you get. Another thing most people don't know is that just because you win the suit and are awarded damages, the courts do not oversee the payment of those damages. It is up to you to figure out how to collect your money. All that is very stressful so think hard about how much you stand to gain before jumping into a medical malpractice suit. The important thing is you know not to take your child there anymore and that the doctors learn their lesson so that others don't suffer needlessly.
    dizzy lizzie 192 Replies
    • August 25, 2008
    • 08:25 PM
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  • I'm not out to get monetary gain, just don't want this Dr. to make this mistake again on some other child suffering. The Dr. I saw prior to him retired a week prior to that appointment, and I'm very happy about that because he's no longer in practice! I have a feeling these "old" Dr.'s are no longer required to complete CE courses, they are probably Grand-fathered, as they call it, and don't have to refresh on anything on a yearly basis to keep their licenses. A letter just doesn't promise that he'll read it or even care about what I have to say. I sure don't want to be out alot of money for a lawsuit, with added stress. :(
    jagar100 5 Replies
    • August 25, 2008
    • 11:21 PM
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  • I understand. Perhaps you could write a letter to the editor of your local paper too so that other parents are aware of the possibility and know to make sure they find someone who will at least test for it. Dr.s aren't used to seeing MRSA outside of hospitals yet- it is a fairly new phenomenon. We've had a lot of media exposure here in the NYC area but I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't enough information yet in other parts of the country about it. I also know that here all doctors, nurses and pharmacists are required to take CME courses to renew their licenses- I used to administer them. Unfortunately like students in any class, there are some who get why they are there and sit and listen actively and try to learn and there are others who do their best to be in the room as little as possible and still get credit. I'm really sorry you went through this but I'm glad it wasn't worse than it was (it could have been). Do what's right for you, your child and your community. :)
    dizzy lizzie 192 Replies
    • August 26, 2008
    • 02:12 PM
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  • I feel for you and your daughter. Thank goodness they found the infection in time for both children. I know what you go through as a parent of a sick child. My eldest was finally diagnosed with severe allergies, asthma, eczema after years of being sick with colds, flus, high fevers.I myself, have had a life time of misdiagnosis by lots of Dr.s and facilities. I truly dont have a diagnosis by a Dr. to date. I have found my malady on the web and now cannot get a Dr. to help me. I have been at my whitts ends over the years with Dr.'s. They really dont listen to their patients. These TV ads kill me... talk to your Dr about... yea, right.The courts are filled with cases such as yours and mine. Not too diminish what you went through and what your daughter went through... becuase it should never have happened... but, you would do better by looking for the site that allows people to rate their Dr.s and/or write to the AMA, to the board of trustees at the hospital he practices at, just to name a few things if you really want to "make him more aware". Court... unless your going for a lumps sum... is not the place to do this. What would you want the judge to do or say? I know how you feel believe me. I want to let the world know what has been ignored with me as well. Besides the above mentioned ideas... There is really not much you could do in this situation other than thank the stars or whatever powers you believe in, that your daughter is happy and now... healthy. :)
    Bornsickie 2 Replies
    • August 26, 2008
    • 03:42 PM
    • 0
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  • I understand. Perhaps you could write a letter to the editor of your local paper too so that other parents are aware of the possibility and know to make sure they find someone who will at least test for it. Dr.s aren't used to seeing MRSA outside of hospitals yet- it is a fairly new phenomenon. That is a great idea. I am going to check into this. That Dr. is probably more apt to read the newspaper than my complaint letter!
    jagar100 5 Replies
    • August 28, 2008
    • 01:55 AM
    • 0
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  • The courts are filled with cases such as yours and mine. Not too diminish what you went through and what your daughter went through... becuase it should never have happened... but, you would do better by looking for the site that allows people to rate their Dr.s and/or write to the AMA, to the board of trustees at the hospital he practices at, just to name a few things if you really want to "make him more aware". Court... unless your going for a lumps sum... is not the place to do this. What would you want the judge to do or say? I know how you feel believe me. I want to let the world know what has been ignored with me as well. Besides the above mentioned ideas... There is really not much you could do in this situation other than thank the stars or whatever powers you believe in, that your daughter is happy and now... healthy. :) I agree I don't have much power here and am VERY grateful that I have found the right diagnosis. Maybe I should praise the Pediatrician instead of looking to punish the Derm.!
    jagar100 5 Replies
    • August 28, 2008
    • 01:57 AM
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  • Maybe I should praise the Pediatrician instead of looking to punish the Derm.!Yes! That way you also let the good doctor know you appreciate them, forging a strong bond there. I have taken the point of view that if I get a blow off feeling from a doctor, I just don't go back and find someone else to help me. I have a whole team of doctors now with whom I have a great relationship because they took me seriously and tried to help me figure out my problem Unfortunately it took a team and we may not be done yet. But when we are I have a box of thank you cards just waiting to be written and sent out. :D
    dizzy lizzie 192 Replies
    • August 28, 2008
    • 02:08 PM
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  • To ***l with dermatologists. You gotta just do oatmeal baths, rose hip seed oil, emu oil. Take it back to the old school. Throw the medications in the trash, I mean its your baby...what you need to do is look the doc straight in the face and say would you prescribe this to your child, and watch his reaction in the eyes. catch him by surprise. then you'll know the answer.
    nvapro 17 Replies
    • September 2, 2008
    • 09:54 PM
    • 0
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