Improper Diagnosis and Care Led to Girl’s Death from Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a serious medical condition, and one that requires immediate diagnosis and treatment. A recent malpractice lawsuit was filed by the father of a girl who died after her condition was not properly diagnosed or treated. The lawsuit was filed against Waukegan Illinois Hospital, Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, and several doctors. According to the suit, the girl went to Vista Ambulatory Care Center, because of a streptococcus pyogenes infection. Negligence and malpractice were reportedly responsible for her death two days later.

Streptococcus Pyogenes

Streptococcus pyogenes is a type of bacterial infection, which is part of the group of strep infections known as GAS, group A streptococcus. GAS infections occur to approximately 700 million people worldwide every year. Of these, death is the result in about 25% of the reported cases. The infection is very swift and can quickly turn into sepsis, infection of the blood. This can cause rapid death, as the infection spreads to the major organs and tissues of the body. Once sepsis takes over, treatment is difficult. For these reasons, GAS infections must be diagnosed and treated quickly.

Diagnostic Failure

This type of infection, also known as meningitis, is somewhat rare. Because of that, doctors may be unfamiliar with the symptoms. Instead of taking the proper steps to diagnose the infection, the doctors were negligent by misdiagnosing the condition. The misdiagnosis, in this instance, proved to be deadly. Because it was not immediately treated, the infection worsened and turned into sepsis. The girl was in severe pain and suffered for two days, until she died.

Improper Treatment

Staph infections, particularly GAS type, are extremely aggressive and stubborn. Immediate treatment must be started, including a strong dose of penicillin. Penicillin is one of the only antibiotics that is able to adequately fight the infection, and it only works well if it is administered quickly after diagnosis. Had the girl’s medical condition been properly diagnosed when she initially went to for treatment, the correct medication would have been provided and it is possible that she would have survived.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional provides negligent care. In this situation, the physician was responsible for providing the proper diagnosis. Allegedly, he did not order the tests that would have determined that the girl did, indeed, have meningitis. This critical mistake caused the girl’s death. Had the doctor done the right thing, the proper medication would have been immediately administered to fight the infection, and the girl may have recovered.

Instead, the girl’s family had to plan her funeral. In cases such as this one, the doctor, hospital, or both, are liable for the misdiagnosis and failure to treat the patient. The girl’s father is seeking damages that cover her medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and compensation for loss of life. If your loved one was seriously injured or died as the result of medical malpractice, contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.

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