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Tragic Delay in Diagnosing Meningitis

Posted in Blog, Emergency Room Malpractice on July 11, 2014


The BBC recently reported on a medical malpractice award to a beautiful little girl named Ellie in the amount of £5.5million, which equates to nearly $9.5 million US dollars. Ellie suffered a tragic delay in diagnosing meningitis when she was just 8 months old leaving her with permanent brain damage and epilepsy. She will need constant care and costly therapies for the rest of her life.

Ellie’s family retained attorneys who exposed the concrete flaw in her treatment. The hospital in which she presented to follows a standard of care requiring all children under a certain age with fevers of 100.8 F or above to be held for hourly monitoring. Despite her having had a recorded fever of approximately 103.8 F, Ellie was discharged from the hospital shortly after her arrival. Soon after her discharge, Ellie’s mother thankfully followed her gut and brought her back to the hospital where she was reportedly delayed an additional 11 hours before receiving proper treatment.

The hospital has since issued a formal apology to the girl and her family. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. The hospital’s foundation trust has admitted that had it not been for the inappropriate discharge and eventual delay in Ellie’s treatment, she’d have made a full recovery.

Ellie’s mother commented on the incident, “We were devastated when we found out that Ellie had suffered brain damage and even more heartbroken for her when we found out her condition could have been avoided had simple errors not been made.” They go on to describe Ellie as “an amazing little girl” and they are rightfully proud of all that she has overcome. To read the full story, the article is linked here.

If you or a loved one has experienced a tragic delay in diagnosing meningitis, call now at 1-800-952-8444 or send us an e-mail for your free consultation. Visit our page on emergency room malpractice and/or meningitis for more detailed information.



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