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Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Malpractice

Among the most crucial kinds of malpractice in the emergency room is the failure to diagnose meningitis.

An inflammation and infection of the membranes is meningitis, which is also fluid surrounding your spinal cord and brain.

Viruses or bacteria can often result in meningitis.

Normally much more crucial than viral meningitis is bacterial meningitis.

Of all meningitis cases, more than two-thirds occur in children less than five years old.

The failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis timely can have severe consequences.

It is an estimate that one out of every ten patients of meningitis dies.

Individuals who sustain meningitis can suffer from deafness, seizure disorders, and brain damage if the condition is not properly treated or timely diagnosed.

Patients who suffer from bacterial meningitis usually complain of being very lethargic, or hurting from fever.

Various symptoms can entail sensitivity to light, nausea, confusion, sleepiness, and vomiting.

Bruises can spread quickly, and develop under the skin as the condition progresses.

The appropriate course of action in diagnosing bacterial meningitis is to do a spinal tap or lumbar puncture.

Because the typical symptoms of bacterial meningitis, however, are symptoms of flu as well, physicians in the emergency room do not order the spinal tap always.

Fatal to the patient, waiting for subsequent symptoms to appear is risky.

The patient can be discharged from the emergency room, usually in failure to diagnose meningitis cases with a diagnosis of flu.

Hours or days later with symptoms that are worse, when the patient returns, it is usually too late to prevent death or catastrophic brain damage.

Treatment for Meningitis

Meningitis treatment can include administering intravenous antibiotics.

Corticosteroids are usually ordered to diminish or prevent loss of hearing.

The proper antibiotic, in cases of bacterial meningitis, must be ordered for it to kill the particular bacteria, which is the cause of meningitis.

It depends on the circumstances of the incident whether the failure to diagnose a bacterial meningitis case is malpractice.

Expert testimony is necessary to demonstrate that the failure of a physician to make an immediate diagnosis of bacterial meningitis was a standard of care breach, and that the breach was the result of the sustained injuries of the plaintiff.


When treated aggressively, with the use of powerful antibiotics, there is a chance of the disease being curable.

Any neglect to diagnose meningitis, however, or any diagnostic delay in treatment of spinal meningitis could cause catastrophic injury or even death.

Physicians who are neglectful could be held liable in a case of medical malpractice, and held responsible financially for sustained injuries or death of the patient.

Individuals who believe that they sustained catastrophic injuries due to a failure of the doctor to diagnose meningitis, and properly treat the condition can file a claim of medical malpractice against the liable parties.

Family members, in addition, to spinal meningitis who have lost a loved one, if neglectful actions by the healthcare staff was cause of death, have the lawful right to seek full compensation.

Contact us for a free consultation or call Anzalone Law Firm PLLC, at: 603.548.3797

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