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Is it medical malpractice if a doctor misdiagnoses meningitis?

When someone visits a Tennessee doctor because he or she is not feeling well, it is reasonable to expect that the doctor will be able to diagnose possible reasons why and recommend treatment accordingly. Sometimes, of course, a patient is a minor and is brought to a medical facility by a parent. In either case, if a doctor fails to diagnose a condition that the average doctor would expect to be able to recognize, it could result in patient injury and medical malpractice litigation.

If an adult is acting off in a cognitive way, perhaps seeming incoherent, slurring words or acting goofy, anyone witnessing his or her behavior might assume he or she is intoxicated. However, such situations warrant further investigation because such symptoms may also be signs of serious infection, such as meningitis. People who get migraine headaches often have sensitivity to light, which can also signify possible meningitis. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention so a license physician can rule out certain issues and make a correct diagnosis.

Early signs of meningitis are often mistaken for the flu. Meningitis can be bacterial or viral, the latter of which can still cause severe suffering but may not be as life-threatening as the former. Either of these conditions can have symptoms that develop quickly, perhaps within days or even hours.

Fever accompanied by severe headache or stiff neck is often the way meningitis presents itself. Fever with cold hands and feet, vomiting, mental confusion or seizures are also symptoms that should raise concerns of possible meningitis. Seeking and receiving swift and appropriate medical treatment can save lives where meningitis is concerned. If a Tennessee doctor disregards symptoms or is negligent in diagnosing and treating a meningitis condition, it may be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim in court.

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