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My mother saw her gp numerous times about a sore toe. With hindsight, it had an infection which should have been treated with antibiotics. Hoŵever, nothing was done until she was eventually admitted to hospital in severe pain. At this point the infection was picked up and treated with intravenous antibiotics but it was too late to save the toe which developed gangrene and fell off. I don't think things should have got to this stage and questions must be asked about why a simple infection which could have been treated with antibiotics turned out in months of pain and the loss of a toe. Am I being unreasonable to think that questions should be asked about how this happened?
Hmmmm, GP's are very good at covering their arses.
When you say she went to the GP numerous times and nothing was done is that factually accurate? How many times exactly did she go? He must have done something - he wouldn't have just sat there and done nothing.
How old is your mum and does she have any underlying health conditions. Need more info really.
Hi, gp referred her for x Ray and blood tests, all were clear. She saw gp every week or so, he was more interested in the x Ray which took weeks than examining her toe. Mother is elderly but in otherwise good health.
Well then you have a problem with the lab, not the GP. Lab said no infection found, when clearly there was.
No, not an issue with the lab, the lab did not test for an infection in the toe. The gp only requested general blood tests in case the pain was related to her age. It was not. The toe had a simple infection which, I believe, should have been picked up, but it wasn't because the gp was more concerned with her age than looking at the toe.
How exactly did her toe 'fall off'?
"Well then you have a problem with the lab, not the GP. Lab said no infection found, when clearly there was."
Not necessarily. An infection can be localised, which means it won't show up on blood tests. If it was systemic, then you'd expect the patient to be generally unwell, not just having a sore toe.
The GP did a standard work up. I don't think they can be blamed here. Is this person diabetic by any chance?
And an infection that led to a toe falling off should have shown up in the blood. The white cell count and CRP would have been raised.
Person is not diabetic. An infection was not suspected, blood was not tested for an infection.
Sorry, I don't want to identify myself but in simple terms, this was an infection that could have been treated with antibiotics and was not and led to gangrene.
Ah okay, what was the blood test testing for then?
And he would have been very interested in the x-ray as this can show things like osteomyelitis... Which can cause gangrene.
Ah you said 'general blood tests'
General blood tests usually include an FBC, U&E, CRP and LFTs. They can pick infections up.
I think gp thought he should test blood because he didn't know what else to do, mainly due to her age. He didn't look at toe, just assumed it was wear and tear on toe due to her age, didn't consider an infection, didn't look at toe. When x rays were clear he did blood tests, but not looking for infection.
How do you know the GP didn't look for infection with the blood tests if you don't know which blood tests were done?
You said 'general blood tests' so I'm not sure if there's enough info we are privvy to to determine whether he was checking for infection.
So she went multiple times and not once did he actually get her to take her socks off and look at the toe?!!
Same thing happened to a family member. They lost the toe and were lucky not to lose their foot too. It was misdiagnosed and the treatment given made it even worse. We tried to take it further and got precisely nowhere. Ranks were well and truly closed and we had to accept there was nothing we could do.
If she is unhappy she can ask to read her records. Did she just say I've got a sore toe, does the gp say they looked at it. If it was xrayed in case of bone issues did they see any sign of infection on her actual toe, did mum notice any wound, redness on her toe. Do you know if there was an infection on the skin, on a wound, on the bone. I thought gangrene happened slowly, did mum or anyone else notice her toe changing color.
He glanced at the toe but not the bit that was infected (it was on the bottom!!), never once looked at the infected bit.
Rock, thank you.
Wiggly, yes it took months, yes mother noticed a change in colour, again no action taken, well, not quickly enough anyway.
Poor mum has it affected her walking and managing at home. She could ask to see her doctor and the practice manager, ask to see her notes and go with her. Is she thinking of making a formal complaint. Did the doctor know it was changing colour and the pain was getting worse.
Wiggly, yes it has affected her at home and her walking. Yes, the gp knew the pain was getting worse and it was changing colour but still took months to do anything. She wants to complain because it seems like it could have been handled better.
First write to the practice manager with your concerns and request a meeting to discuss everything that happened. They can take you through everything that might have gone wrong to begin with and advise you what steps you can take next if you're still unhappy.
She could ask why they didnt look at it, if the doctor has been negligent she can speak to a reputable solicitor, see what they suggest.
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