Misdiagnosis Results in Child Losing Both Feet | MedMalFirm.com

Misdiagnosis of Meningitis Results in 7 Year Old Girl Losing Both Feet

For parents, seeing your child ill is a horrible experience.  You take them to a doctor or hospital with the hopes that they will soon be healthy again.  You never imagine that something like misdiagnosis…

For parents, seeing your child ill is a horrible experience.  You take them to a doctor or hospital with the hopes that they will soon be healthy again.  You never imagine that something like misdiagnosis or a doctor’s failure to diagnose could actually make your child sicker.  Sadly, that is exactly what happened to one family in England.

What started out as a family vacation turned into a medical malpractice nightmare.  At MedMalFirm.com, our hearts go out to this family during such a terrible ordeal.

A Tragic Example of the Consequences of Misdiagnosis  

Brogan Partridge was a lively 7-year-old vacationing with her family in Cornwall in 2016.  After a day at the beach, Brogan began feeling ill.  She was vomiting and didn’t seem like herself.  Naturally concerned, her parents took her to the emergency room.  Doctors diagnosed Brogan with a “tummy bug” and sent the family home.

Later, the little girl developed a severe bruise-like rash on her legs.  This rash is a common sign of meningitis, and her parents were immediately alarmed.  They rushed her back to the emergency room.  This time, doctors discovered high levels of bacteria in her blood.  They confirmed her parents worst fears – their daughter had meningitis.  What’s more, she had developed sepsis in both of her legs.

The little girl was in tremendous pain.  The infection was so significant that doctors had little choice but to amputate her left foot.  Later, her right foot was also amputated.  Doctors saved Brogan’s life, but her life will never be the same.  Sadly, the ordeal could have been prevented had the first emergency room visit not resulted in misdiagnosis.

Now, Brogan is 11 years old.  She walks using prosthetic feet, and is working to regain independence.  Her parents note that she has a good mindset, which speaks volumes about her strength and character.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an illness caused by inflammation of the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies several different types of meningitis, including:

  • Bacterial – Develops after exposure to bacteria
  • Viral – Develops after viral infections
  • Fungal – Develops after inhaling fungal spores
  • Parasitic – Develops after exposure to certain parasites
  • Amebic – Develops after exposure to ameba, commonly found in water and soil
  • Non-infectious – Develops due to injury, cancer or immune disorders

In Brogan’s case, the meningitis was the result of a bacterial infection.  Though the news reports do not detail the source of the bacteria, the CDC states that  bacterial meningitis can develop due to:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • Group B Streptococcus
  • Neisseria meningitides
  • Haemophilus influenza
  • Listeria monocytogenes

These bacteria may spread from person-to-person, or some types spread through food and on surfaces through saliva.

The Dangers of Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a serious, and sometimes deadly, infection.  Misdiagnosis of this illness can have devastating consequences like what little Brogan continues to experience.  Like most illnesses, there are symptoms and possible complications that can vary from one person to another.  The CDC notes the following as the most common symptoms:

These symptoms may develop quickly, or may take some time to fully develop.  In most cases, symptoms begin within three to seven days of initial exposure to bacteria.  As you can see, many of these symptoms are also present in other illnesses and diseases.

Doctors must be diligent in running tests and observing the correct signs of meningitis to avoid delaying treatment.  Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can certainly have serious consequences on the patient, including:

Patients should never have to deal with the serious consequences of doctor mistakes.  When misdiagnosis occurs, patient lives are needlessly at risk.  These medical mistakes are a violation of the standards of care, and are a violation of a patients’ legal rights.

What Patients Can do About Misdiagnosis

If you or a loved one has suffered misdiagnosis like what the Partridge family has experienced, you may certainly feel overwhelmed.  It is only natural that you feel sad, angry and betrayed.  At MedMalFirm.com, we want you to know that you are not alone.  You don’t have to be overwhelmed by what you are going through – we can help.

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical malpractice.  It occurs fare more often than any patient would like to know.  As a patient, you have certain legal rights, such as the right to healthcare that meets accepted standards.  If a doctor is negligent and fails to meet the standards of care during the diagnostic process, you may be able to hold him or her legally liable for your injuries.

At MedMalFirm.com, our Houston medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if you can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis.  If so, we will carefully review all aspects of your situation and care, and will find the best options to resolve your case.  Contact us to learn more.

Schedule a free consultation by calling 877-887-4850, or by filling out our online form.

Meagan Cline

Written By Meagan Cline

Meagan Cline is a professional legal researcher and writer. She works alongside the team at MedMalFirm.com to provide readers with up-to-date information relevant to the healthcare and legal industries.

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