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Failure to diagnose meningitis led to permanent harm

There is nothing more stressful for parents in Massachusetts than to realize that their infant is seriously ill. When taking a child to the hospital, parents expect that medical care workers will research every reasonable possibility until the cause of their child's illness is discovered and properly treated. Unfortunately, one out-of-state family claims that a hospital's failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis resulted in a delay of treatment that caused serious damage.

Court reports indicate that the then 3-month-old was taken to the hospital named as the defendant in the recent medical malpractice case. The child was eventually admitted, but the hospital reportedly did not run any tests to determine if he was suffering from a bacterial infection. He was released even though he was still ill. No antibiotics were administered or prescribed.

The next day, the child's parents took them to a family doctor where a lumbar puncture was performed, confirming that the child was suffering from bacterial meningitis. He was then admitted to a children's hospital where he underwent several treatments. Despite the treatment, he now suffers from loss of hearing, seizures and brain damage. A jury has recently awarded the family $10 million in damages. The hospital is now deciding whether to appeal the verdict.

Most medical care workers are well-trained professionals who seek to find the answers to their patients' suffering. Unfortunately, the treatment delays caused by a failure to diagnose an illness can cause significant long-term harm. Often, families are left wondering how they will cope with the additional expenses related to harm stemming from such negligence. Victims in Massachusetts have legal options available to them, including filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in a civil court. A successfully presented case could result in a monetary award that would help with medical and other related financial burdens stemming from such a mistake.

Source: al.com, "Tot's missed meningitis brings $10 million verdict against Walker Baptist Medical Center", Kent Faulk, Feb. 12, 2016

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