Washington DC Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Attorney
Here’s the simple fact about meningitis that parents need to know: left undetected and untreated, it can kill your child. The failure to diagnose meningitis in babies and children – who are particularly vulnerable to this devastating illness – results in needless injuries and deaths every year. If your child passed away or has suffered adverse health effects as a result of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed meningitis, the Washington DC birth injury attorneys at The Rich Firm, PC are ready to help you.
When your child’s physicians and other healthcare professionals fail to diagnose meningitis, and as a result let the disease do its serious harm, it can be a sign of medical malpractice. Our birth injury lawyers in Washington DC work with families who have been affected by such avoidable medical mistakes, getting them the resources and compensation they need and deserve.
What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is a serious condition caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. The infection that causes that inflammation is usually found in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Infants and small children can contract meningitis either through bacteria or a virus. Whether your child was infected through a virus or bacteria is significant, as the severity of the disease, the damage it can cause, and the treatment needed can vary depending on the nature of the infection.
Bacteria found in hospitals, homes, and elsewhere can cause meningitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD), about 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis occurred each year between 2003–2007, leading to 500 deaths. Newborns and infants usually contract the disease after being exposed to one of the two following bacteria:
- Group B strep bacteria
- Hemophilus influenza Type B bacteria
If detected quickly, bacterial meningitis can usually be effectively treated with aggressive antibiotics. Left untreated, however, the consequences could be fatal, particularly for small children. Even if the child survives, delayed treatment of bacterial meningitis can cause brain damage, hearing loss, developmental disabilities, and loss of limbs.
The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear suddenly or over the course of several days. Usually, symptoms develop within 3-7 days after exposure to the bacteria and for newborns and infants can include the following:
Viral meningitis is generally less severe than bacterial meningitis, and people infected with viral meningitis usually will get better without treatment. However viral meningitis can still be deadly and dangerous, especially for infants less than one month old.
Diagnosis and Detection is Key
As noted, meningitis is treatable – if diagnosed in time. If doctors fail to recognize symptoms of meningitis and conduct the appropriate tests that could confirm a diagnosis, the result can be catastrophic. Your child’s doctors are trained to identify symptoms of meningitis, and when they don’t, they have failed you, your child, and their responsibilities. When that happens, they can be held accountable for medical malpractice.
The Rich Firm, PC: Washington DC Birth Injury Attorneys
If a failure to diagnosis meningitis in your newborn or infant led to injuries or the loss of your child, The Rich Firm, PC, birth injury attorneys serving Washington DC, can help you obtain compensation and justice for your losses. Several of our attorneys are also medical doctors who can in many cases very quickly evaluate whether your doctor was negligent, saving you the months and expenses normally associated with expert review of your case.
Speak With A Washington DC Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Attorney
For experienced and aggressive legal representation in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC areas, please give our Washington DC birth injury lawyers a call at 888-RICH-LAW (742-4529) to set up your free consultation or contact us online. We look forward to assisting you.