Jury rules delayed diagnosis caused significant harm

Because of the complexities of treating a patient, doctors and other medical care professionals must go through a great deal of training. This training should help them more accurately diagnose and treat their patients because a delayed diagnosis could cause significant harm to families in Pennsylvania. One out-of-state father has recently sued the hospital, claiming that it failed to diagnose the serious bacterial infection from which his son was suffering.

The child, who was an infant at the time, was experiencing several symptoms when his parents took him to the hospital named as the defendant in the case. On his second visit, the child was admitted but records indicate that no tests were performed to determine if the child was suffering from a bacterial infection -- as symptons appeared to indicate -- and no antibiotics were administered. The day after he was released, his parents took him to a family doctor.

That doctor administered a test that revealed that the child was suffering from bacterial meningitis. The infant was then flown to a children's hospital where he underwent several treatments, including surgery. Despite these interventions, he suffered significant harm, including loss of hearing and brain injuries, due to the delay in treatment.

A jury has recently awarded the family $10 million. Representatives for the family are hopeful that this award will help ensure that the child receives necessary medical treatment for the remainder of his life. The hospital has not yet decided if it will appeal the decision.

For infections such as bacterial meningitis and other illness, a delayed diagnosis could significantly impact a person's recovery. There are legal options available to those in Pennsylvania suffering as a result of medical negligence. If it can be provided that the standard of care was not met, a victim of medical malpractice could receive an award of damages that will help him or her cope with the financial ramifications of such negligence.

Source: al.com, "Tot's missed meningitis brings $10 million verdict against Walker Baptist Medical Center", Kent Faulk, Feb. 12, 2016

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