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Boy dies after hospital misdiagnoses meningitis

Living so close to some of the world's most renowned medical centers, Maryland readers are familiar with how much we value our medical professionals. For this reason, when medical mistakes occur and patients are harmed, it can be very difficult to come to terms with. This is especially true when the medical error is the result of hospital negligence or preventable doctor's errors such as the failure to diagnose.

It was recently reported that a mother from North Carolina is speaking out after the death of her son last April. According to reports, the woman's son died of bacterial meningitis that had been misdiagnosed as a sinus condition. The young man had gone to the hospital suffering from blurred vision and headaches. As the boy's mother drove him to the emergency room, his condition worsened and he began vomiting.

Despite his symptoms and a temperature of 105, the nurse noted in the young man's medical records that the boy was mildly ill and that she did not suspect meningitis. Instead, she suspected sinusitis. Despite the young man's mother's insistence that something was seriously wrong and requests for tests to be performed, the boy was discharged with instructions to take Tylenol and drink fluids. He died a few days later, according to his mom.

Misdiagnosis is a serious problem in the medical community. Patients who suffer harm or worse due to the failure of a doctor to properly diagnose a medical condition may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. To collect damages in a medical malpractice suit, the party seeking recovery must be able to show that the failure in diagnosis was the result of avoidable and preventable doctor error or hospital negligence.

Source: WSOCTV, "Mother says ER misdiagnosis leads to son's death," Kathryn Burcham, Nov. 22, 2013

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