Two-Year-Old Recovers for Failure to Diagnose Meningitis

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Several years ago a concerned mother brought her two-year-old daughter to a Kentucky emergency room. The baby had been fussy and the young, single mother became worried. The medical staff at the local emergency room took her concerns seriously. They evaluated the child and transferred her by ambulance to a larger hospital. The doctors at the local hospital were concerned that the child might have meningitis. The transfer paperwork detailed their concern and suggested that the child should receive a spinal tap to test for possible meningitis.

When the child arrived at the larger hospital, she was given a cursory physical exam and sent home. Her condition worsened and she had a seizure. Her mother called for an ambulance and EMS transported the child to the hospital, again. This time she had a spinal tap and she was diagnosed with meningitis.

She was left with permanent brain damage. The brain damage, the brain bleed, and the midline shift that she suffered may have all been avoided if her meningitis had been appropriately diagnosed and if antibiotics had been administered quickly.

We settled this case as quickly as we could because the family did not have the money to get the child immediate treatment and early intervention is important for brain injury victims. The settlement provided for her current and future therapy needs, including speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and for her schooling. While it can be difficult to put a dollar figure on future damages for a young child’s brain injury, we fought hard to protect this child’s future and get her the recovery that she deserves.

The medical malpractice attorneys at our Louisville office wish we could reassure you that such cases are rare, but we cannot. Failure to diagnose serious illness happens with alarming frequency in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices throughout Kentucky. When health care workers fail to follow standard procedures to obtain a true diagnosis, a patient may suffer severe complications or even death. If this has happened to you or a close friend, you should know there are ways to demand compensation for medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White can answer all your questions; start with a free phone call today to 1-888-450-4456.