Spinal Meningitis: Failure to Diagnose
Failure to Diagnose Spinal Meningitis
Meningitis, also called spinal meningitis, is an inflammation of the lining of the brain caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the spinal fluid. Between 10,000 and 25,000 children contract bacterial meningitis each year. It can kill an infant in 24 hours if left untreated.
It’s important to know whether a particular case of meningitis results from a virus or a bacterium because of the differences in the seriousness of the illnesses, and the treatment needed.
Viral meningitis. Though more common, people with viral meningitis are much less likely to have permanent brain damage or spinal damage. Antibiotics cannot treat viral meningitis but it is usually relatively mild. It clears up within a week or two without specific treatment. It is rarely the source of a medical malpractice claim.
Bacterial meningitis. The bacterial form of meningitis is an extremely serious illness that requires immediate medical care. Left untreated, it is almost always fatal . It can mimic flu symptoms, and unless competent medical professionals confirm the diagnosis by ordering a lumbar puncture – also known as a spinal tap -it can lead to:
- Permanent brain damage
- Hearing loss
- Mental retardation
Bacterial meningitis is caused by any one of several bacteria, including Group B strep (in newborns), Hemophilus influenzae type b (in babies), meningococcus (mostly in young adults) and pneumococcus (the most common for adults) . Together, these four bacteria account for over 80% of bacterial meningitis cases in the U.S.
Almost 500 people, mostly children, die from bacterial meningitis each year. If aggressively treated, the disease is curable with powerful antibiotics. A doctor’s delay or failure to diagnose and properly treat spinal meningitis could result in malpractice liability.
If you believe that you or a family member have suffered injury or you believe a family member has died as the result of a physician’s failure to properly diagnose or treat bacterial meningitis, call Brown & Crouppen toll free at 877-448-5415 or contact us online to determine whether you might have a viable medical malpractice claim. Our attorneys will evaluate your case free of charge.
Contact the Attorneys of Brown & Crouppen
Call us toll free at 877-448-5415. Or contact us online. Either way, the consultation is free. An experienced lawyer from Brown & Crouppen will promptly contact you and give you the help you need.