The Law Offices of John Phebus

Researchers say cellulitis misdiagnosis is common

Many Arizona hospitalizations are triggered by a diagnosis of cellulitis. The bacterial skin infection occurs when a person has a wound, cut or skin irritation that becomes infected by streptococcus or staphylococcus. One of the most dangerous forms of cellulitis is a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infection. MRSA infections are typically contracted in hospital settings.

While cellulitis and MRSA cellulitis pose serious health risks, so do misdiagnoses of these conditions. A study has found that the misdiagnosis of cellulitis is very common, and it leads to millions of dollars in wasted health care funds each year. Unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics may also lead to avoidable medical complications for misdiagnosed patients. One of the study authors said that dermatologists are better than general physicians at differentiating cellulitis from the various conditions that mimic cellulitis symptoms. However, dermatologists are not available to assist every cellulitis diagnosis.

Researchers from several U.S. hospitals including Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed the medical records of 259 patients who were diagnosed with cellulitis in the emergency room of a large city hospital. According to their published study, the researchers concluded that 30.5 percent of the patients were incorrectly diagnosed with cellulitis. Among the misdiagnosed patients, 84.6 percent were hospitalized unnecessarily and 92.3 percent were prescribed antibiotics that they did not need.

A misdiagnosis of cellulitis can result in patients being harmed, as in some cases the disease that is actually present worsens. Patients who have been adversely affected in such a manner might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to learn what legal recourse they may have.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Glendale Office
17505 N. 79th Avenue Suite 214
Glendale, AZ 85308

Map & Directions

Phoenix Office
40 North Central Avenue
Suite 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Map & Directions

Tempe Office
60 East Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85281

Map & Directions

Scottsdale Office
7150 East Camelback Road
Suite 444
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Map & Directions

We Accept
VISA | MasterCard | American Express | Discover Network | PayPal