A 31-year-old mother of two children filed a lawsuit against an English hospital due to a sepsis misdiagnosis that resulted in her losing an arm, all her fingers, and both her legs to amputation.
The wrong diagnosis may not have resulted in her death, but the mother now has to learn how to live her life again after the horrifying ordeal.
Magdalena Malec was told that she suffered a miscarriage in December 2014, just weeks after learning that she was pregnant with her third child. She was sent home with painkillers to address stomach cramps and heavy bleeding, but she returned to the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in Luton, England, later that month.
She was discovered to have an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a fertilized egg instead attaches to a cavity outside of the womb. Malec immediately underwent emergency surgery.
During her recovery from the surgery, Malec developed ischemia on her limbs, which is the lack of blood supply to parts of the body. Her limbs became gangrenous, forcing the amputations, and she later found out that the loss of blood supply was due to medical staff failing to make the proper diagnosis for sepsis and follow the hospital’s own sepsis protocol.
“The catastrophic chain of events which led to Malec’s near death and horrendous injuries were completely avoidable if the hospital trust had followed its own sepsis protocol,” said David Thomas, Malec’s lawyer for the lawsuit that she has filed against the hospital.
Unfortunately, Malec is not the only victim of a false diagnosis that resulted in things taking a turn for the worse. In fact, a study last year by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota revealed that most patients suffering from serious medical conditions have been initially misdiagnosed.
In January, a 12-year-old girl from California was diagnosed as having the flu, which was acceptable due to the prevalence of the flu season. However, it turned out that she was misdiagnosed and instead had a strep blood infection.
In February, the family of a mother of five who passed away due to a misdiagnosis in 2015 finally received monetary compensation for the incident. She was initially diagnosed with a migraine, but it turned out that she was suffering from tuberculosis meningitis.
A second opinion might not always be an option when consulting for treatment of an illness. However, if the option is there, patients are highly recommended to take it.