Last Tuesday I sliced off the tip of my right index finger while using a mandolin. I went to a local urgent care about an hour after the incident took place. They cleaned the wound, cartarized(spelling?), and bandaged it. They gave me Tylenol 3 for pain and care instructions. Throughout the week my finger started to swell, redden and blister from excess fluid. I called the urgent care on Saturday and spoke with the doctor that treated me. She said the pain was normal and a sign of healing. By Monday the pain was so unbearable I went to see my trusted primary care physician. He took and X-ray and immediately sent me to the ER. I am currently in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics because I have an infection in my tendon and face losing the tip of my finger. I feel that if the urgent care physician had sent me directly to the ER my finger could have been saved and I would have avoided a week in the hospital. Do I have a case or is it just bad luck?
I suspect that managing such minor trauma as the avulsion laceration that you suffered is well within the standard of care for treatment in an urgent care setting. And infection is a known risk of any such procedure. And it appears that thanks to your primary care provider, you are receiving appropriate treatment for your infection. But all anyone can do on this forum is speculate based upon a few lines of information. Gather your medical records and consult local counsel for actual clarity. Best of luck.
Hard to say
The. Infection is the problem and there is no necessary connection with the treatment
Not sure that you would have a very strong case. Due to the nature of your injury from the mandolin, which is likely covered in bacteria, and then the immediate care you provided. I'm assuming that if the cut was bad enough to go to the urgent care, that you likely grabbed the closest thing to stop the bleeding. A kitchen towel, paper towels, a rag, any and all are not likely to be sterile fields. You used them for at least an hour on your finger. All of the above would point to the source of the infection. Then the urgent care provided appropriate care by cleaning the wound, likely with sterile saline in a sterile field. Last they cauterized the finger. This is a burning type procedure that creates chemical burns. A source not likely to have caused a bacterial infection. Most important, any traumatic injury has swelling (edema), some irritation and discoloration from the injury. These continue to get worse over the following 72 hours before you body begins to naturally remove the swelling, which naturally decompresses the nerves and sensory pads in your finger. So, the doctor's advice was not necessarily incorrect and infections are difficult to diagnose over the phone. And not sure if she ended the call by saying if there is puss draining and the finger is red and getting worse, then seek medical attention. Which you ended up doing, however, most PCP don't have the capabilities to start IVs and don't have the ability to run antibiotics through them as it has to be mixed in the lab. The xray was simply to make sure that you did not have a fracture in that finger, something that would also cause increased swelling and discomfort. The gist of it, is sure, maybe the initial doctor might have been negligent if she didn't tell you to seek medical attention if you are that uncomfortable. On the other hand, any time you break the skin there is a larger risk of infection and unless the initial physician cleaned the wound with something other than prepackaged medical equipment, it doesn't seem like there is a very strong case. But there are arguments on both sides. Definitely knowing all the facts and the timeline thoughout that week would shed more light on it. Seek out counsel and see what they think.
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