Meningitis is a terrifying health condition that causes the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord to swell. Doctors may only have hours to prevent serious injury or death if the condition is caused by a bacterial infection. Unfortunately, meningitis can also mimic the symptoms of other common illnesses. The consequences of misdiagnosed meningitis can be devastating.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), patients who survive bacterial meningitis can suffer from permanent brain damage and hearing loss. A blood infection and multiple amputations are also possible outcomes. It is possible to survive bacterial meningitis, but only with prompt treatment. Diagnostic errors are especially dangerous for patients with this condition.
A Texas family recently lost their daughter to a bacterial meningitis misdiagnosis. According to the parents, they took their 4-year-old daughter to a local emergency care center because she was suffering from a high fever, diarrhea and vomiting – all within 24 hours. The emergency room doctor ordered lab tests, took basic vital signs and discharged the girl. Five hours after returning home, the girl’s condition worsened, and her parents bought her back to the emergency room. However, it was too late to save her life. An autopsy showed the girl had been suffering from bacterial meningitis.
According to a lawsuit filed by the parents, the emergency health center ignored multiple red flags that should have resulted in an accurate diagnosis. They have filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages.
Are Diagnostic Errors Medical Malpractice?
Not all medical mistakes are medical malpractice. Certain criteria must be met to move forward with a medical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one were harmed by a diagnostic error involving meningitis or any other serious health condition, then you should speak with an attorney. The Atlantic City medical negligence attorneys at Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. could review your situation at no cost to help you determine whether medical malpractice may have occurred.