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Failure to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis

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Medical Malpractice

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Call (215) 866-2424 If a Doctor or Hospital Failed to Properly Diagnose Your Bacterial Meningitis

The Beasley Firm has been dedicated to representing the injured for over 60 years. During this time, our firm has over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients and established ourselves as leading experts in medical malpractice litigation. In fact, we are recognized by "Best Law Firms" in the area of medical malpractice, making us highly qualified to help with your bacterial meningitis claim. We have won record-setting and impressive jury verdicts in Pennsylvania, including:

  • $100 million verdict for medical negligence on behalf of a surgeon that led to newborn brain damage and amputation
  • $55 million verdict for unauthorized surgical procedure that resulted in severe brain damage
  • $37 million for family of infant severely injured due to medical malpractice, along with countless seven and eight figure results for clients suffering from injuries such as these.   

Call (215) 866-2424 and begin your journey to just compensation.

What Is Bacterial Meningitis?

Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the meninges or the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. If meningitis is not diagnosed and treated right away it could become life-threatening due to its proximity to the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms & Causes of Bacterial Meningitis

In teenagers, college students, and adults the most common symptoms of meningitis are headache, stiff neck, fever, confusion, lethargy or tiredness, an inability to tolerate bright lights (photophobia) or loud noises (phonophobia). In newborns, infants, and small children the symptoms can be a change in the appearance of the “soft spot,” poor feeding, irritability, arching of the back, vomiting, fever, and a high-pitched cry. As written above, if the anterior fontanel or soft spot is still open it can feel more full or look as if it were bulging. Other symptoms children experience that might distinguish meningitis from other childhood illnesses are leg pain, cold extremities, and an abnormal purplish skin coloring or mottling. Meningitis can be caused by the following organisms:

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • S. pneumoniae
  • Cryptococcal
  • Pneumococcal or mumps virus
  • Neiserria meningitides (meningococcal meningitis) - This form of meningitis also produces a petechiael rash or purple spots on the skin.
  • Group B Strep
  • Escherichia coli (Ecoli)
  • Neiserria
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Tuberculous or TB
  • Mycobacterium
  • Staphylococcal (staph)

Once meningitis is suspected, the patient should have a complete workup. Imaging must occur of the spinal column and brain, issues of increased intracranial pressure must be examined prior to invasive procedures such as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture (LP). Once that is addressed, those procedures can occur to obtain samples to send for laboratory analysis.   A lumbar puncture takes a small sample of spinal fluid so it can be sent to the lab for testing. Once the LP is completed, physicians should not wait for the final culture report to come back to start the patient on antibiotic treatment. They should immediately start the patient on empiric antibiotics that might cover whatever bacteria the patient may have that is common in their age group. Once the culture reports return with the organism identified, the antibiotics should be switched to the most appropriate antibiotic to treat the specific bacteria.

Early diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis is necessary to prevent permanent brain damage, neurologic deficits, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness, seizures or epilepsy, hydrocephalus, loss of digits or limbs, amputations, developmental delays, or death. If you or your loved one has suffered due to bacterial meningitis that was not properly diagnosed or treated, please contact one of our experienced Philadelphia lawyers. We have resolved meningitis cases for many clients and have ensured that they have all of the funding necessary to care for them and compensate for their substantial losses.   

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