Podiatric Malpractice

What Happens When Your Podiatrist Isn't Putting Your Best Foot Forward, or Podiatric Malpractice

A Guttlaw ReportTM

Podiatrists often perform a valuable service for people who need help taking care of their feet, whether because of injury, diabetes, or because they are elderly. In a podiatric malpractice case, the question is whether a reasonably prudent podiatrist would have acted in the same way as your doctor did. The failure to live up to the professional standard of care may constitute malpractice.

SOME COMMON AREAS OF PODIATRIC MALPRACTICE
  1. The Diabetic Patient. Diabetic patients need extra care because their impaired circulation often means that what may be a minor problem for the rest of us may lead to serious wound infection and even amputation. A podiatrist who causes injury to a diabetic or who fails to promptly diagnose infection and treat it properly may be liable for the complications that follow.
  2. Poor Circulation, or Vascular Compromise. When, because of injury or poor circulation, the leg or foot is not getting adequate blood supply, there is a need for prompt diagnosis and treatment. Where appropriate, an immediate referral to a vascular surgeon should be made. Failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of vascular compromise may make the podiatrist liable for any harm which follows.
  3. Cancer. A podiatrist must be prepared to recognize any unusual foot or leg lesions and refer the patient to either a dermatologist or an oncologist for prompt further diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is an often very painful blood clot in the vessels of the leg, which usually occurs in a patient who has had a long bone fracture or is immobilized for surgery. If the clot is not properly recognized and treated, it may break free, travel to the lungs and cause a deadly pulmonary embolism. Again, prompt diagnosis by the podiatrist and referral to an appropriate specialist is mandatory.
  5. Medication Errors. Like any other prescribing medical professional, a podiatrist is liable for his or her failure to properly prescribe necessary medications, as well as monitor drug-drug interactions.
  6. Necrotizing Fasciitis. Necrotizing fasciitis, or the "flesh eating bug," is a potentially fatal condition which can easily result in either loss of a limb or even death if not promptly diagnosed and treated. A podiatrist's failure to promptly recognize such a condition may leave him or her liable for very serious consequences.

Podiatric malpractice is like any other malpractice. When a care provider departs from the standard of care and that negligence is the proximate cause of personal injury or death, the podiatrist may be responsible.

Proving your case is the job of an experienced law firm like Rubin Guttman & Associates, L.P.A. We have been representing injured people hurt by medical malpractice or serious accidents for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to have you consult with us. (For a free consultation and review of your case, please feel free to call us at 216 696-4006).

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