Recent news from Pennsylvania reveals that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court awarded over $10 million in damages to a mother whose son was not properly diagnosed with meningitis. Her son, only eleven months old at the time, was taken to the emergency room due to a fever and difficulty breathing. The doctor who looked at him said the boy was suffering from an upper respiratory infection and bronchiolitis. Sadly, though, it was later discovered that this initial diagnosis was wrong. And, unfortunately, as a result of the misdiagnosis, the boy ended up developing hearing loss in both ears and permanent brain damage.
Obviously distraught and seeking some kind of justice, the mother filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. The defendants appealed, but her demands were upheld. While this mother’s case ultimately did end with justice, not everyone’s does. This is why if you are ever involved in a medical malpractice case, you have to take steps to secure a qualified, experienced lawyer who can handle your case appropriately.
In this instance, the mother had a “failure to diagnose” case on her hands. This is one of the most common types of malpractice and occurs when a diagnosis is missed, inaccurate, or delayed, leading to harm and injury to the person that otherwise might not have happened.
In the case of this young child, he probably would not have suffered hearing loss or brain damage if his meningitis had been properly diagnosed and treated. While the results of failure to diagnose are not always this serious, they can still be detrimental, which is why people who have or think they have one of these cases on their hands are encouraged to contact a legal professional for more information as soon as possible.