You’ve heard that a nasty bug is traveling through Atlanta, and one day you wake up and it hits you: fever, headache, nausea, and loss of appetite. You call in sick and head to the doctor, even though you have a hunch on what the problem is. The doctor and staff check you out and diagnose you with what you suspected you had all along: the flu. The doctor tells you to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. You then slouch home, crawl into bed next to a gallon of water, and wait for the bug to take its course.
But it doesn’t go away. Days pass. The drugs aren’t working. Something is wrong. Thinking that perhaps your doctor was mistaken, you seek a second opinion. After an examination, the new doctor gives you the verdict: you’ve got meningitis.
Meningitis is a serious, painful illness that can have long-term effects if not properly diagnosed and left untreated. Since there are several types of meningitis it is imperative that our health care professionals make an accurate and timely diagnosis and ensure that you get the proper treatment. Failure to do so can have devastating results such as brain damage, random seizures, deafness and hearing issues, even death. The World Health Organization reports: Even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate treatment is started, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. Left untreated, up to 50% of patients may die.
THE MAIN TYPES OF MENINGITIS
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges. Symptoms include fever, headache, and neck stiffness.
- Bacterial Meningitis — This is meningitis that is caused by a bacterial infection and leads to inflammation of the meninges. It can be very serious and possibly fatal, but can be treated with the appropriate antibiotics. Time is of the essence, and delay in treatment results in permanent brain damage. As with stroke, “Time is brain.”
- Viral Meningitis — This is meningitis caused by a virus, and therefore untreatable with antibiotics. Similar to the flu, this condition must run its course, although those with weak immune systems, such as small children and the elderly, can be seriously affected.
- Fungal Meningitis — A rare form of meningitis, this results from inhaling contaminated fungal spores, which get in the bloodstream and into the spinal cord.
If you or someone you love has suffered complications due to the failure to accurately diagnose and treat meningitis, then you may have a claim of medical malpractice. At Grant Law Office, the husband and wife team of Wayne and Kimberly Grant are experienced medical malpractice attorneys who are ready to assist you. Call us at (404) 995-3955 or toll free (866) 249-5513.