Meningitis

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Meningitis

Meningitis is a rare infectious disease that affects the delicate membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, also called meninges. The disease can be found in adults, children, and newborns and is especially dangerous for the latter.  If a doctor in Pennsylvania failed to diagnose meningitis, you may be able to file a claim. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with meningitis and suspect a delay, contact one of our Philadelphia meningitis lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case.

There are three types of meningitis:

  1. Viral meningitis – This type of strain tends to be the least severe and most healthy people can recover without extensive therapy or procedures.
  2. Fungal meningitis – This rare form of meningitis tends to be found in people with weakened immune systems, such as someone suffering from an autoimmune disease like HIV or a newborn.
  3. Bacterial meningitis – This strain can be deadly and is contagious among people in close contact, such as in hospitals, doctors offices, college dorms, etc.

What are the Symptoms of Meningitis?

The disease has many variations making it difficult to diagnose. It can progress slowly over days and weeks or it can manifest in hours. In the case of small children and newborns, it is more likely to progress quickly, making it all the more dangerous.

The symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • High fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Hardening or bulging of soft spot in newborns
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Meningitis

This is a contagious disease, meaning it is spread from one individual to another. It is often misdiagnosed as a flu, cold, or low grade fever – especially in newborns. However, without a blood test and/or spinal tap, meningitis can go undiagnosed and have serious consequences for the patient.

According to the CDC, 10 to 30% of pregnant women can be carriers for Group B Strep, which can lead to neonatal meningitis. This is why pregnant women should be tested prenatally so that the mother may be appropriately treated if she tests positive to avoid infecting the baby.

If the patient has bacterial meningitis, it is important to get the patient treatment as quickly as possible. This includes a speedy administration of specific, high-powered antibiotics often given intravenously. Fungal and viral meningitis should also be treated as soon as possible. When meningitis is missed, it can lead to brain damage, coma, and even death.

Philadelphia Meningitis Lawyers

If a doctor in Pennsylvania failed to diagnose meningitis, you may be able to file a claim. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with meningitis and suspect a delay, contact one of our Philadelphia meningitis lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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