Ohio Malpractice Lawsuit Filed Over Mistreatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis

A young man whose legs were partially amputated as the result of a necrotizing fasciitis infection, which involves a flesh-eating bacteria, has filed medical malpractice lawsuits against a number of doctors and two hospitals, alleging that the infection was mistreated.

The Ohio malpractice lawsuits were filed in the Ohio Court of Claims and Franklin County Common Please Court on behalf of 19 year-old Steven Haxton, whose legs were amputated above the knee last year. According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, the lawsuit alleges that the injuries resulted from the negligent medical care of more than 15 doctors employed by Ohio Health Corp, Riverside Methodist Hospital and Ohio State University Medical Center.

Haxton alleges that he went to the Riverside Methodist emergency room for pain in his calf in March 2009, where he was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis. Several days later he was placed on life support and sent to Ohio State University Medical Center for further treatment. He eventually had his legs amputated and had to undergo 20 surgeries to save his life.

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Necrotizing fasciitis, better known as flesh-eating bacteria, is usually a form of streptococcus that infects the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues. Early symptoms include intense pain, swelling, and gastrointestinal distress. Eventually, the bacteria begins to kill tissue, causes fever and illness and in most cases will cause death if left untreated. Even when treated, the infections often require amputation of limbs in order to prevent spread throughout the body.

The infections are most often treated with surgery and antibiotics. However, some cases of flesh-eating bacteria have been caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which resists many forms of antibiotic treatment.

Haxton’s necrotizing fasciitis lawsuits allege that the care provided at Riverside failed to meet accepted medical standards. Ohio State University Medical Center is named as part of the lawsuit because it employed one of the doctors at Riverside, not because of care that occurred at that OSU, which Haxton and his parents credit with saving his life.

1 Comments

  • HowardJanuary 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Amazingly, there is an "on the market" product, StaphWash Plus, that has been shown to be virtually 100% effective in treating topical MRSA and staph. Even though this FDA-registered product has been available for three years, the NON-use of this medication continues to cost lives and limbs. Amazing, but true. WHEN will the legal system begin to put pressure on hospitals to use available treat[Show More]Amazingly, there is an "on the market" product, StaphWash Plus, that has been shown to be virtually 100% effective in treating topical MRSA and staph. Even though this FDA-registered product has been available for three years, the NON-use of this medication continues to cost lives and limbs. Amazing, but true. WHEN will the legal system begin to put pressure on hospitals to use available treatments that WORK and can save lives and limbs?

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