Posted On March 20, 2017 By In Clinical

Even ‘Simple’ Cases Can Turn Life-Threatening

Conventional wisdom says that urgent care is the place to go unless a patient has life- or limb-threatening problems. Even typically benign illness like strep throat can turn into something far worse if it’s not diagnosed and treated correctly, however. In one extreme case detailed on The Today Show website, a Michigan man ended up losing fingers and parts of his feet after a missed diagnosis of strep ultimately led to septic shock that nearly killed him. Kevin Breen had gone to the doctor complaining of a sore throat, assuming it was due to strep infection because his son had just gotten over a case. The test was negative, but it wasn’t long before extreme stomach pain drove the father to the emergency room. He went downhill fast. Emergency surgery revealed his abdomen was loaded with pus. Further tests revealed what the earlier test had not: Breen did have strep throat after all, and the infection had somehow spread to his abdomen—an extremely rare, but possibly deadly, systemic complication. While highly unusual, the case serves as a reminder that even simple complaints require a provider’s close attention and appropriate treatment in the urgent care center.

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