Meninges are membranes that protect and cover the spinal cord and brain. When these membranes become inflamed, a person is said to have meningitis. There are different types of meningitis and people can suffer from the disease to varying degrees. The most extreme cases will cause the victim’s death.
While meningitis can be caused by a virus or bacteria, the experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that meningitis can also be caused by medications, other diseases such as cancer, and even bodily injury.
Certain people are more prone to types of meningitis; for example, diabetics have a higher likelihood of contracting fungal meningitis as compared to non diabetics. Parasitic meningitis is caused by consuming contaminated water and or food; people living and or visiting under developed countries are at a higher risk of contracting parasitic meningitis. Cancer patients and persons that have undergone brain surgery are at risk of contracting non infectious meningitis.
It is obviously very complicated, but medical professionals are trained to detect and successfully treat meningitis victims. Quickly recognizing the signs of meningitis and rapidly diagnosing meningitis patients leads to the best chances of recovery. This is where things have gone wrong in New York and a delayed or missed diagnosis of meningitis has injured a patient to the extent that medical malpractice was charged against the offending physician.
The symptoms of meningitis are similar to many generic illnesses; stiff neck, rapid breathing, fever, vomiting, headaches, chills, nausea, etc. Sounds a bit like the flu too. So how can one validly blame a doctor for missing a meningitis diagnosis? The answer lies in what is stated above.
Some people are at a greater risk for contracting meningitis as compared to others. A physician sees a patient who has the signs described above and knows that the patient just returned from a third world country. If the doctor doesn’t test for meningitis, he/she might be neglecting their duty to the patient.
A diabetic sees a doctor and complains about having the symptoms listed above. The doctor doesn’t know that the patient is a diabetic and fails to consider the possibility of meningitis. Is this medical malpractice? It could be if the doctor did not get the patient’s history and or ask if the patient has any diseases or health problems.
The cost of missing or delaying a meningitis diagnosis is too severe; death, neurological problems, seizures, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, etc. If a doctor did something (or failed to do something) that another doctor wouldn’t have done and as a result failed to properly diagnose meningitis, the patient may be a victim of medical malpractice.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.