Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science - The Case of the Red Leg Summary & Analysis

Atul Gawande
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The Case of the Red Leg Summary and Analysis

In "The Case of the Red Leg," Gawande wraps up his section on uncertainty with a study of a case involving many uncertainties. A 23-year old woman, Eleanore Bratton comes into the ET with a red and swollen leg. The simple diagnosis is cellulitis, a skin infection usually treated with antibiotics, however when the ER physician asks Gawande for a surgical consult, he is concerned it could be necrotizing fasciitis, or the "flesh-eating bacteria." The symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis are very similar to cellulitis (inflamed skin, soreness, fevers, pain and swelling), however necrotizing fasciitis is relatively rare compared to cellulitis. Although Gawande cannot be certain it is necrotizing fasciitis, he cannot be certain it is not either. In obtaining permission for a biopsy, which would determine whether it was necrotizing fasciitis...

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This section contains 449 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Study Guide
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