Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, it is sometimes misdiagnosed due to its varied signs, including fever, intense headaches, confusion, and nausea.
- What Is Meningitis?
- Why Timely Meningitis Diagnosis and Treatment Is Crucial to Protect the Brain and Spinal Cord
- Who Is Responsible for A Meningitis Misdiagnosis
- Failure to Diagnose Meningitis
- When Is a Missed Diagnosis Considered Negligence?
- What Compensation Can You Recover in a Medical Malpractice Case?
- Examples Of Missed Diagnosis Settlements and Verdicts
- Hire a Meningitis Misdiagnosis Attorney to Resolve Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Meningitis can cause severe complications such as hearing loss or even death if left untreated. Early diagnosis and immediate medical care are essential for successful outcomes.
Do you suspect the doctor’s failure to diagnose led to your child’s meningitis? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, represent injured families by holding responsible parties accountable for brain damage, cerebral palsy, or other severe injuries.
Contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options related to meningitis misdiagnosis.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team concerning your medical malpractice claim remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is a severe medical condition that can be deadly, characterized by inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the spinal column and brain. A viral infection causes most meningitis cases in the US. Although bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections have common symptoms, they all have different causes.
Roughly 600 to 1,000 people contract meningococcal disease in the US annually, with 10% to 15% dying from it.
Bacterial meningitis is a severe and potentially life-threatening infection of the cerebral or spinal column’s membranes.
Statistics by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) indicate that more than one out of every 10 cases of spinal meningitis caused by bacteria are fatal, representing approximately 400 to 500 deaths every year.
In addition, those at a high risk of having the disease include people with:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Renal or adrenal insufficiency
- Cystic fibrosis
Also, at high risk are those residing in crowded quarters like college dorms or nursing homes and those recently exposed to meningitis.
Left untreated, it can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, loss of hearing, mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, or death.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death following a failure to diagnose and treat bacterial meningitis, please call us for an immediate free consultation.
Viral meningitis is less severe than bacterial meningitis and can often be cured without specific treatment. Symptoms of viral meningitis include chills and fever, dizziness and hallucinations, blurred vision, and more.
Young children and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of viral infections.
Fungal meningitis is a rare form of meningitis caused by inhaling fungal spores. People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV, are at greater risk of contracting fungal meningitis.
Parasitic meningitis is a severe and potentially deadly infection of the cerebral or spinal column’s membranes. It is caused by exposure to certain bacteria, such as Group B strep in newborns, Hemophilus influenza Type B, Meningococcus, and Pneumococcus.
Symptoms of parasitic meningitis can include chills and fever, dizziness and hallucinations, blurred vision, flu-like episodes, coma, permanent brain damage, stiff neck, loss of hearing, or paralysis.
Amebic meningitis is a rare but severe infection caused by Naegleria fowleri amoeba. It affects the brain and can be fatal if the person does not receive immediate medical attention and proper treatment.
The most common cause of Amebic meningitis is exposure to Group B strep bacteria in newborns or other bacteria such as Neisseria meningitides (meningococcal disease), Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcal disease) or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). In a young child, it is caused by Hemophilus influenza Type B bacteria; in young adults, Meningococcus is the most common cause.
Noninfectious meningitis involves the same condition and symptoms as the other types. However, it is caused by disorders that are not infections.
Noninfectious meningitis develops due to disease or injury, including certain cancer-fighting medications or the cancer itself. The symptoms of this type of meningitis typically resolve within one to two weeks.
Why Timely Meningitis Diagnosis and Treatment Is Crucial to Protect the Brain and Spinal Cord
Finding a suitable doctor to correctly diagnose and treat you right away can make all the difference to your chance of recovery. Meningitis is a life-threatening medical emergency that can lead to severe complications.
Diagnosis is made through a clinical examination and tests such as a lumbar puncture or spinal tap; your doctor might choose treatment through medication, intravenous fluids, or oxygen supplementation. Complications of meningitis include seizures, hearing and vision loss, and heart, kidney, and adrenal gland issues.
Any failure or delay to diagnose meningitis could cause serious injury or death.
Who Is Responsible for A Meningitis Misdiagnosis
When a medical diagnosis is missed, it can have severe and even life-threatening consequences for the patients.
Multiple providers may be liable for a missed diagnosis, including primary care providers, doctors, specialists, lab technicians, hospitals/medical practices, and nurses/surgeons.
Failure to Diagnose Meningitis
Meningitis is a severe medical condition that can cause permanent cerebral injury or death if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Unfortunately, medical negligence can lead to a delayed diagnosis of meningitis, resulting in devastating consequences for the patient and their family.
Our law firm offers families affected by medical negligence an immediate, free case consultation with no fees unless a financial recovery is obtained. It is important to note that misdiagnosis alone is not considered medical negligence.
However, if your doctor misdiagnosed meningitis, leading to further injury, it may be considered medical malpractice if the doctor failed to meet the standard of care in diagnosing the condition.
When Is a Missed Diagnosis Considered Negligence?
When it comes to medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure to diagnose, the standard of care is determined by comparing how other similarly trained doctors would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
Medical experts are essential in helping victims evaluate providers’ conduct and whether they were negligent in failing to meet the standard of care.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Medical Malpractice Case?
When a medical professional or hospital is negligent and exposes a child to harmful viruses or bacteria, the parent has the right to seek compensation for related expenses.
In Cook County, parents can recover past and future medical expenses, caretaking expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
In some cases, it is determined that a doctor misdiagnosed a condition that prevented proper treatment and prolonged the victim’s pain and suffering.
Examples Of Missed Diagnosis Settlements and Verdicts
Missed diagnosis cases are among the most severe and heartbreaking medical malpractice cases. When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition, the patient can suffer severe and permanent injuries or even death.
Examples of missed diagnosis settlements and verdicts include:
- A $5 million settlement for a child who suffered serious injuries due to a bacterial infection
- An $8 million verdict was awarded to a man who suffered a stroke and left-side paralysis after his physician, and an ER doctor negligently failed to diagnose subacute bacterial endocarditis
Hire a Meningitis Misdiagnosis Attorney to Resolve Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Do you believe a medical professional was negligent in making a timely diagnosis of your child’s meningitis? Do you wish to legally hold the doctor and medical facility accountable for financial recovery?
The experienced attorneys at our law firm can help you recover damages, including economic like medical bills and non-economic losses such as pain and emotional trauma. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
We accept all medical malpractice cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures you do not pay legal fees until our qualified attorney resolves your medical malpractice lawsuit through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
- About Pneumococcal Disease | CDC
- Focus on Meningitis | WHO