Meningitis: When a Doctor’s Error Can Have Devastating Consequences

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord. This inflammation can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. While viral meningitis is usually mild, bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you have been injured by a delay in diagnosing or treating meningitis, then you may have a medical malpractice case for misdiagnosis. Accordingly, contact the Kopec Law Firm to speak with the Baltimore meningitis lawyer.

Understanding the Anatomy: Your Meninges

The meninges consist of three layers:

  • Dura mater: The tough, outer layer.
  • Arachnoid mater: The middle layer, a web-like membrane.
  • Pia mater: The thin inner layer that closely follows shapes of the brain and spinal cord.

Between the arachnoid and pia mater is the subarachnoid space filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF acts as a cushion, protecting the brain and spinal cord from injury, and also helps remove waste products.

Baltimore Meningitis Lawyer
Baltimore Meningitis Lawyer

Different Types of Meningitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Viral & Bacterial

  1. Viral Meningitis:
    • Symptoms: Fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, stiff neck, muscle aches, fatigue, and also loss of appetite.
    • Doctors who diagnose: Pediatricians, family physicians, internists, and also neurologists.
    • Tests to diagnose: Physical exam, blood tests, and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to analyze the CSF.
    • Treatment: Rest, fluids, pain relievers, and medication to reduce fever. Most cases resolve on their own within 7-10 days.
    • Prognosis: Usually good with complete recovery.
  2. Bacterial Meningitis
    • Symptoms: Similar to viral meningitis, but often more severe and rapid onset. Can include confusion, seizures, coma, and a rash that doesn’t fade when pressed (not always present).
    • Doctors who diagnose: Emergency room physicians, pediatricians, and infectious disease doctors.
    • Tests to diagnose: Physical exam, blood tests, and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to analyze the CSF for bacteria.
    • Treatment: Immediate hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent serious complications.
    • Prognosis: Varies depending on how bad the infection is and how soon treatment starts. Complications can include brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, and death. This is the type of meningitis that will most likely require the Baltimore meningitis lawyer.

Fungal & Parasitic

  1. Fungal Meningitis:
    • Symptoms: Similar to bacterial meningitis, but can develop more slowly and include additional symptoms like vision problems and mental confusion.
    • Doctors who diagnose: Infectious disease specialists and neurologists.
    • Tests to diagnose: Blood tests, lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to analyze CSF for fungus, and sometimes imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs.
    • Treatment: Long-term antifungal medication, often administered intravenously.
    • Prognosis: Varies depending on the type of fungus and the severity of the infection. Treatment can be lengthy and may not always be successful.
  2. Parasitic Meningitis:
    • Symptoms: Similar to bacterial meningitis, but may also include seizures and hallucinations. Doctors who diagnose: Infectious disease specialists and neurologists.
    • Tests to diagnose: Blood tests, lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to analyze CSF for parasites, and sometimes stool tests.
    • Treatment: Depends on the type of parasite. Medication is available for some types, but some parasitic infections may require surgery.
    • Prognosis: Varies depending on the type of parasite and the promptness of treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent serious complications.

Medical Malpractice Claims in Meningitis Cases with the Baltimore Meningitis Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered serious complications or death due to meningitis because of a medical professional’s negligence, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Here are some examples of medical malpractice in meningitis cases:

  • Failure to diagnose meningitis: Firstly, this could involve failing to recognize the symptoms, failing to order appropriate tests, or misinterpreting test results.
  • Delaying treatment: Once meningitis is suspected, prompt treatment with antibiotics is crucial. Delays in starting treatment can lead to serious complications.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication: Antibiotics are not effective against viral meningitis. Administering the wrong medication can delay proper treatment for bacterial meningitis.
  • Improperly performing a lumbar puncture: Lastly, this can lead to infection or bleeding.

What to do if you suspect medical malpractice:

  • Gather medical records: Request copies of all your medical records related to the meningitis diagnosis and treatment.
  • Consult with a medical malpractice attorney: An experienced attorney can review your case and determine if you have a valid claim.

Meningitis is a serious medical condition. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial to prevent serious complications. If you believe a doctor or other healthcare professional’s negligence caused your or your loved one’s suffering from meningitis, you may seek compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses: Past and future medical bills related to the meningitis diagnosis, treatment, and complications.
  • Lost wages: Income lost due to the illness and recovery.
  • Pain and suffering: Physical and emotional pain caused by the illness and complications.
  • Disability: Compensation for any permanent disabilities resulting from meningitis.
  • Wrongful death: If a loved one died from meningitis due to medical malpractice, compensation may be available for their lost income, pain and suffering, and the loss of their companionship.

You can read more about each of these categories of damages on the medical malpractice page.

Choosing a medical malpractice attorney experienced in meningitis cases is crucial. Look for an attorney with a proven track record of success in these complex cases. They will have the knowledge and resources necessary to investigate your case, gather evidence of medical malpractice, and also fight for the compensation you deserve.

Taking Action: Call the Baltimore Meningitis Lawyer

There specifically are time limits for filing medical malpractice claims. Consequently, don’t delay in seeking legal advice if you believe you have a case. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.

Remember: Early diagnosis and treatment are critical in meningitis cases. If you experience symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, or confusion, seek immediate medical attention. If you believe a medical provider’s negligence caused your illness, then don’t hesitate to contact the medical malpractice attorney at the Kopec Law firm to discuss your legal options.

Visit the free consultation page or video. Then contact the Kopec Law Firm at 800-604-0704 to speak directly with Attorney Mark Kopec. He is a top-rated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. The Kopec Law Firm is in Baltimore and pursues cases throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.

What Our Clients Say About Us

At the Kopec Law Firm, we are grateful that satisfied clients express their appreciation!

Mark is a knowledgeable and empathetic lawyer who speaks directly and concisely to evaluate your problem. He doesn't use attorney jargon that confuses people, rather he talks clearly. Although he couldn't help me with my situation, the consultation I had was productive because he answered my questions and gave me some clarity.

Shahnaz in Ellicott City

Dear Mark, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your dedication to my case. As you know, it has been a long and upsetting process for me, which would have been a great deal longer had it not been for the hours you put in helping me with this emotional roller coaster. Thank you again.

Shannon T. in Anne Arundel County

Dear Mark, thank you so much for your help and kindness. You provided the guidance and assistance we needed to obtain some understanding in loss of our child. We will never forget the professional and personal service provided. If anyone is in need of legal representation, I will certainly send them your way. God bless.

Kim C. in Cecil County

I wanted to say thank you for spending time with me regarding my questions about legal issues. Mere words cannot really express my gratitude. You seem to truly care about people.

Client in Baltimore City

Dear Mr. Mark, I’m truly grateful to have had you work on my son’s case. You were up front at all times and were on key every step of the way. I will always recommend your firm. Thank you so much for helping my son. P.S. Every time my son sees you on TV, he says “Mom, that’s my lawyer, Mr. Mark.” 🙂 Thank you again. You did an excellent job on the...

K.N. in Baltimore City

Dear Mark, we want to thank you for all the hard work and time your firm put in our case. You took the time to listen to us and research our case. You were honest and up front regarding the case. You responded to questions and concerns quickly. We would highly recommend your firm and services to anyone who is in need of legal representation. We...

Rebecca T. in Prince George’s County

Super Awesome team and staff! Worked with them for a case they handled for my grandchild about 10yrs ago! Would definitely use them again! I recommend them to everyone I know. Could never thank them enough! Very thorough and knowledgeable! Always kept us in the loop throughout the entire process!!!!

Letha C. in Prince George’s County

Mark explained everything in detail and brought clarity to all of my concerns.

Doris in Edgwater

I am very happy and thankful for your help. You responded very quickly. I am very happy to recommend you.

Linda in Chevy Chase
  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 Talk to a Lawyer
  3. 3 No Fee Unless You Win
Fill out the contact form or call us at 800-604-0704 to schedule your consultation.

Send Us a Message