A failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis can result in serious and life long disabilities for a patient.
A Philadelphia court awarded $10.1 million in damages after a hospital failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis in an 11 month year old.
The $10.1m damages award includes future medical care for the boy’s injuries. He now suffers hearing loss, a language disorder, developmental and learning delays, and a loss of balance. These are life long injuries that he will have to live with.
His mother took him to the hospital with a fever and other symptoms. The hospital diagnosed him with an upper respiratory problem and sent him home with little treatment. This is often something we see in our most negligent cases. For example, attorneys at our firm tried a case of a 9 year old at a federally funded clinic after they failed to diagnose septic hip in our client’s child. In our case, the federally funded clinic diagnosed our client’s child as having bursitis. Instead of properly working him up, they sent him home. He died of the septic hip infection.
Failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis can have serious consequences that are permanent and life long. You will want to determine whether the hospital had sufficient signs and symptoms such that they should have appropriately worked up the patient. Then, you will also want to determine that the hospital failed to rule out alternative causes of diseases.
In the Philadelphia case of Shamir Tillery, he was taken back to the hospital with a rapid heart rate (sometimes called tachycardia or tachycardic), an abnormal respiratory rate, and a high fever. The hospital failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis again lead to this child not receiving the care he needed. As a result, this family’s lives have been changed forever.