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Ignoring Patient Concerns Leads to Amputation

Any patient with a serious health concern has experienced the problem of the doctor simply not listening. Doctors have the training, education, and experience to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions. But the one thing that the doctor will never have is a lifetime inside the body of the patient. Patients often know their body and can tell when there are warning signs that something is wrong. When the doctors refuse to listen to the patient, it can cause tragic consequences. 

Sent Home Three Times After Expressing Concern

Robert Downey noticed a sore developing on his hands and immediately went to the doctor. The reason he went to the doctor so quickly was because a few weeks earlier, his 11-year-old son had developed a similar sore, which was found to be MRSA. The boy was quickly treated and recovered. The father expected similar quick and effective treatment and had even seen the same physician’s assistant. However, the PA provided oral antibiotics and sent the patient home. 

The sore failed to heal, even with the antibiotics, and the patient returned to the PA to express his concerns. The PA again sent the patient home. 

After the patient developed severe shoulder pain, which he worried could be a sign of a more serious infection, like MRSA arthritis, he went to see a different physician’s assistant but again was sent home, told the shoulder pain was inflammation and unrelated to the sore. 

A few days later, Downey collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. The man had to undergo amputation and later further amputations. He now has lost both hands and both legs. After more than a year since the amputations, the patient requires rehabilitation, prosthetics, and is dependent on others for his basic care. 

MRSA and Related Infections

In the above case, the patient had developed methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), similar to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are strains of the bacterium that is commonly shortened as ‘staph.’

Staph bacteria are common in our environment but is generally not a problem until it enters the body, usually through a cut or abrasion. The longer the infection goes without proper treatment, the worse the infection can become and make it more difficult to treat. 

Why Don’t Doctors Listen to the Patients?

Even though patients have a good idea of what is going on in their body and suspect when something is wrong, the doctors don’t always listen. A doctor’s advice and recommendation can be a form of relief if the doctor says not to worry about something. However, when the problem continues or gets worse and the doctor still refuses to address the problem, it may be time to reconsider the doctor-patient relationship. 

“Your doctor doesn’t listen to you,” is one of our 6 Signs it’s Time for a New Doctor. Even if your doctor has had you as a patient for years, was recommended by a friend, or has won awards for their work, it does not mean the doctor is the right doctor for you. As a patient, you deserve to have a doctor who listens to your concerns. 

If you have questions about a medical mistake, contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation. Fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today. 


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