Failure to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis

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If it is not treated quickly, bacterial meningitis can lead to severe and debilitating conditions such as brain damage, mental disability, and hearing loss. While most people recover, fatality is a possibility. From 2003 through 2007, roughly 12% of the people who contracted bacterial meningitis died because of the infection.

If a doctor failed to diagnose bacterial meningitis and someone you love was seriously injured or killed, we invite you to contact Paulson Coletti to discuss the possibility of a medical malpractice claim.

Detecting the Signs and Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis

Doctors must be able to quickly notice the signs of bacterial meningitis. Common symptoms include the sudden onset of –

  • Fever: Be sure to monitor your temperature at all times if you believe you have bacterial meningitis. This can be a sudden occurrence and you should take quick action to seek medical attention.
  • Neck stiffness: A stiff neck, along with fever and headache, is one of the most common signs of bacterial meningitis. This should be monitored by a doctor if you start to experience severe occurrences.
  • Vomiting and dizziness: As stated previously, bacterial meningitis carries the same symptoms as other illnesses, including nausea and vomiting. This can also lead to dehydration.
  • Headache: A headache due to bacterial meningitis can be sudden and severe. If you experience a headache, be sure to check for some of the other signs to gain a better idea of what might be wrong.
  • Seizure or coma: These are more severe symptoms, but they can happen. If your loved one has had a seizure, along with some of these other symptoms, act quickly to reach a doctor.

Bacterial meningitis can be a mystery because it has some of the same symptoms as other illnesses. These signs and symptoms can occur within minutes or over the course of a few days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people exposed to bacterial meningitis, on average, begin to display symptoms within three to seven days. If you or someone you know has contracted the bacteria, make sure to reduce contact to limit the chances of transmission.

Diagnosing Bacterial Meningitis

Any combination of these symptoms should prompt diagnostic testing for bacterial meningitis. A common way to diagnose bacterial meningitis is by taking blood samples or testing cerebrospinal fluid. Antibiotics should be administered as soon as possible to prevent serious injury. Although a prompt diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is paramount, it is particularly important to infants and the elderly, as they are most vulnerable.

Bacteria That Causes Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is caused by bacteria, often passed from person to person through contact with saliva or mucus. The following types of bacteria have been known to cause this type of meningitis –

  • Pneumococcus
  • Meningococcus
  • Haemophilus
  • Listeria

Our Experience with Malpractice & Failure to Diagnose Cases

Paulson Coletti's Portland medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience with "failure to diagnose" cases. Some of the verdicts and settlements we have achieved in this category include –

  • Failure to Diagnose Brain Swelling – a $1.4 million verdict
  • Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer – a $1 million verdict
  • Failure to Diagnose Cancer – an $850,000 settlement
  • Failure to Diagnose Stroke – an $800,000 settlement

Paulson Coletti is one of the premier law firms in the Pacific Northwest for medical malpractice. We were awarded with a "Best Law Firms" rating by U.S. News in the practice area of medical malpractice for plaintiffs and Attorney Chuck Paulson was voted "Lawyer of the Year" in medical malpractice for plaintiffs. We help victims of medical negligence and failure to diagnose.

If someone you love was injured or killed because of bacterial meningitis,
contact a Portland medical malpractice lawyer at our firm today for a free consultation.