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Failure to Diagnose Abscess
Our client, who lived in Jefferson Hills, had developed a severe, sore throat. Seeking some relief, she presented to an urgent care center. Told that she likely had a viral infection that would resolve on its own, she was sent home. On the next two consecutive days, she returned to the urgent care center because she was losing the ability to speak, was experiencing pain in her throat, and more importantly, the ability to swallow even liquids. Also, she was experiencing increasing swelling on the side of her neck.
Repeatedly told that she was only suffering from a viral illness, the urgent care staff failed to recognize that our client had a more serious, bacterial abscess in her neck. A simple x-ray of her neck would have allowed the condition to be diagnosed. Had she been given appropriate antibiotics, the condition could have been treated and allowed our client to have a full recovery.
Instead, by the fourth day, the infection had spread from her neck into her chest cavity. She began experiencing respiratory failure and sepsis. Rushed to a local hospital, she had to remain in an Intensive Care Unit for six weeks, where she underwent five separate operations to clean out the infection. Our client missed a year of work, has disfiguring scars on her neck, chest and back and suffered permanent nerve damage from the surgeries that leaves her in constant pain.
We needed to be protected from this type of negligence. We filed a lawsuit on our client's behalf in Allegheny County. The settlement we obtained compensated her for her lost wages, her pain, her suffering, and her disfigurement that she will have for the remainder of her life.