Health Care

Trip to urgent care for foot wound ended in gangrene and leg amputation, lawsuit says

When Trenton Twidwell went to an Overland Park urgent care clinic on Aug. 31, 2017, the wound on his left foot was small, according to a lawsuit filed in Johnson County court.

Two weeks later his leg was gangrenous and dying and had to be amputated.

Twidwell is suing Kristin Duncan, the doctor he saw at the CareNow urgent care clinic.

Duncan couldn’t be reached for comment. An employee at the CareNow in Overland Park said she no longer worked there.

Leecy Chiles, the marketing director in CareNow’s corporate offices in Texas, said “CareNow urgent care is committed to providing the highest quality health care for our patients” but can’t comment on Twidwell’s care or Duncan’t employment.

“We must honor the legal obligation to protect privacy and confidentiality of our patients and our staff,” Chiles said via email. “Therefore we can not disclose any information regarding this matter.”

According to the suit, which was filed late last month, Twidwell went to the facility with a “small, circular crater” on the bottom of his left foot “that was open and draining, as well as redness covering the majority of the upper and side part of his foot.”

“His entire foot was warm to the touch,” the suit says.

The suit alleges that Duncan told him he had cellulitis, a common infection, and prescribed an antibiotic, but she didn’t culture the wound or order any lab work.

“In essence, his infection was easily treatable, just not with oral broad spectrum antibiotic therapy,” Twidwell’s lawyer, Michael Rader, said by email. “Had the doctor done any workup or testing she could have easily identified the infection and its severity.”

Rader said Twidwell never found out exactly what kind of bacterial infection he was dealing with.

According to the suit, Twidwell called Duncan about a week later to report that his condition was worsening and his foot was so sore he couldn’t walk on it. She allegedly told him to “give the antibiotic time to do its job” and wrote him a refill.

On Sept. 14, 2017, the suit says, Twidwell went back to urgent care, where he was diagnosed with gangrene and sent to the emergency room at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

Doctors there diagnosed him with sepsis, a life-threatening complication of bloodstream infections.

“By this time the infection was systemic and advanced past the point of antibiotic therapeutic treatment,” the suit says. “Additionally, the tissue on his left foot was not viable. As a result, he underwent a high left below-knee amputation.”

Twidwell is suing Duncan for medical negligence and lost chance of making a full medical recovery.

According to her LinkedIn page, Duncan had been working at CareNow for about a month when she saw Twidwell. It was her first job after completing her medical residency and a one-year sports medicine fellowship.