Failure to Diagnose Sepsis After Biopsy

M is an adult male who had been under a urologist’s care for ten years. After a series of tests revealed M’s PSA level steadily rising over a period of four months, his urologist recommended a transrectal prostate biopsy.

Prior to the biopsy, the urologist had M take 500 mg of an antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin, and perform a fleet enema. Following the biopsy, the urologist again instructed M to take 500 mg of Ciprofloxacin. The day after M’s transrectal prostate biopsy, he began experiencing flu-like symptoms, including chills and nausea, and called his urologist’s office.

Ciprofloxacin is one of the most commonly used prophylactic antibiotics for transrectal prostate biopsies. Although Escherichia. Coli (E. Coli) is a well known bacteria associated with infections following transrectal prostate biopsies, it has been known for years in the medical community that Ciprofloxacin-resistant strains of E. Coli are becoming more and more common. When M’s urologist became aware of M’s condition on the day following the prostate biopsy, the urologist should have immediately admitted M to the hospital and ordered blood testing on an emergency basis and started M on an antibiotic known to be effective against E. Coli. The Ciprofloxacin was ineffective in combatting M’s E. Coli infection because it was resistant to Ciprofloxacin. This represents a failure to diagnose the patient’s complications after the PSA biopsy.

Instead, informed of M’s condition through an intermediary in his office, the urologist ordered a routine blood test be performed, prescribed an additional, 10-day course of Ciprofloxacin, and suggested M to go directly to the emergency room if his symptoms worsened.

The blood test performed that afternoon revealed a white blood count of 19.3, far outside the normal range of 3.8 to 10.6, and was consistent with the presence of infection. Despite the urgency presented by the threat of an E. Coli infection, the pathologist who read and interpreted the results did not inform M or his urologist of the results immediately, and instead chose to fax them to the urologist shortly after 2 a.m. the following day making it impossible for the urologist’s office to promptly know of the results. M’s urologist didn’t attempt to obtain the results from the lab on the day of the test.

Before the urologist had even became aware of M’s test results, M informed the urologist’s office that his symptoms had not improved. In accordance with the doctor’s orders, he went to the emergency room. Upon evaluating him, the emergency room physician found that M was suffering from sepsis – a potentially deadly condition characterized by full-body inflammation that is caused by infection.

After he was admitted to the hospital, M’s condition quickly worsened, and he was transferred to intensive care, suffering not only from sepsis, but also from acute renal failure and acute respiratory failure. Among other serious complications, M’s lower legs became gangrenous and required amputation. Rosen & Perry will vigorously pursue a medical malpractice case against both the urologist and the hospital on behalf of M to recover damages for M’s lost wages, his pain and suffering , his loss of life’s pleasures, his emotional distress, his disfigurement and any and all other damages he is entitled to recover under the laws of Pennsylvania

If you have had a transrectal prostate biopsy and following the procedure you begin to suffer from signs and symptoms of an infection, or flu-like symptoms, contact your physician immediately and demand to be seen, or go to the emergency room.

If you have had a transrectal biopsy and suffered serious complications as a result of medical malpractice, contact Rosen & Perry, the medical neglect lawyers at or by telephone at 412.281.4200 or toll free at 800.440.5297 for a free consultation. Our website has more information about Post-Procedural Malpractice.