Failure to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis in a Baby: Minnesota Birth Injury Lawyer

When Healthcare Providers Fail to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis in a Baby, it Can Be Minnesota Medical Malpractice


Having a baby is one of the most joyous times of our lives as parents.  But it is also one of the most anxious times of our lives.  This is because we fear many of the possible things that could go wrong.  Most times our fears are unfounded, but other times they are warranted.  This is why we rely on medical professionals who are treating and evaluating our newborns to ease our anxiety and keep our child safe.


While many times our healthcare providers do just that, unfortunately sometimes they do not.  One of the worst instances when a healthcare provider fails us and our child is when a health condition is not diagnosed in a newborn.  One of the most devastating conditions that may not be diagnosed in our newborns is bacterial meningitis.  When this is not diagnosed properly, it can result in serious and devastating damage to a newborn and even cause the wrongful death of a baby.  This failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis could be Minnesota medical malpractice.


What is Bacterial Meningitis? 


Meningitis is an infection which causes inflammation of the meninges or membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  This infection can be caused by either bacteria or a virus.  Bacterial meningitis can be common and found in many women who do not become ill from it.  Thus, when the baby is born, in some instances bacterial meningitis can be passed from the mother to the baby.


This is why a reasonably prudent OB/GYN or family doctor will test the mother for meningitis in the weeks before the due date.  If the tests are positive, antibiotics could be given to the mother to kill or weaken the bacteria which could cause meningitis.  This is done to prevent or lessen the chance of the baby contracting bacterial meningitis during labor and delivery.


Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis in Babies


Even if the mother does not come back positive for bacterial meningitis, the healthcare provider should still ensure that the baby has not contracted bacterial meningitis during the birthing process or thereafter.  This means that healthcare providers should test the mother or baby, or both, for bacterial meningitis.


This further requires that healthcare providers monitor the baby for the possible signs of bacterial meningitis after birth.  Some common signs of bacterial meningitis in newborns includes the following symptoms:


  • Seizures;
  • Fever, particularly an abnormally high fever;
  • Trouble breathing, labored breathing, or other abnormal breathing;
  • Sensitivity to light or sound;
  • Irritability;
  • Extreme fatigue or exhaustion;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Trouble eating or keeping food down;
  • Stiff neck or inability to rotate the head;
  • Profuse sweating; and
  • Other symptoms.


If a newborn is exhibiting these symptoms of a possible bacterial meningitis infection, a healthcare provider must immediately work to protect the baby from damage caused by bacterial meningitis.  When this type of infection goes untreated or misdiagnosed, it can result in serious personal injuries or wrongful death to a newborn.


When Healthcare Providers Fail to Treat Bacterial Meningitis, it can be Minnesota Medical Malpractice


Birth injuries caused by failing to guard against, treat, and protect an infant from bacterial meningitis can be due to Minnesota medical malpractice.  If you believe that you or your loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, call to schedule a FREE appointment.  We accept cases throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, or any other city.  Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.


We also handle cases throughout the state of Oregon including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  Our Oregon office number is (541) 385-1999. 

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