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Bacterial meningitis must be treated immediately. Parents must not wait until next week to see their doctor. Bacterial meningitis comes on quickly and children need immediate attention with the proper diagnosis and treatment. Children who survive bacterial meningitis may suffer long-term complications like hearing loss, paralysis, learning and behavior difficulties, and seizures. Advanced bacterial meningitis can lead to brain damage, coma, and death.
Failure to properly diagnose or provide treatment for bacterial meningitis is considered medical malpractice.
When arriving at your doctor’s office or ER, medical professionals should check for temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen in the blood. The younger the child, the more difficult it is for them to express their pain and symptoms.
One of the defining diagnostic tools of bacterial meningitis is a spinal tap or lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord where the infection of meningitis occurs. The fluid is sent to a laboratory and checked for red and white blood cells, protein, glucose, and other organisms. Other tests may also be given.
However, it’s dangerous to wait for results so treatment must begin regardless.
If the child is in respiratory distress – a breathing tube will be administered.
A heart monitor will measure the child's heart rate and rhythm.
An IV provides fluids and to prevent dehydration.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with a number of effective antibiotics based on a child’s age and weight.
Failure to properly diagnose or provide treatment or timely treatment for bacterial meningitis is considered medical malpractice. If your child has suffered because of failure to properly diagnose or be provided treatment for bacterial meningitis, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Please contact Monheit Law to determine what your legal options are.