- $7,000,000 Wrongful Death-Verdict (Illinois): Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the brain lining, and most commonly occurs in children. It is a deadly disease that must be treated as soon as it is suspected. If timely treated, it is curable. Signs or symptoms of bacterial meningitis may include: headache, nausea, fever, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and a painful neck. As a general matter, children don’t get headaches very often with infections, especially not severe headaches. So that when a child comes to the hospital with a headache, the people working at the hospital-the nurses, and doctors-must be thinking about the possibility of bacterial meningitis. In this case, the hospital used a emergency room technician instead of a registered nurse to evaluate a four and half year old girl brought to the hospital with fever and severe headaches. Because of his lack of training and experience, the tech missed the little girl’s stiff neck and light sensitivity, and made her wait for treatment almost five hours. The girl died of a brain herniation.
- $1,035,000 Wrongful Death-Settlement (Illinois): Infections can occur in all different kinds of ways. Sometimes, an infection can gain a foothold in a surgical site. Hospitals and doctors know this, and must look for it. In this case, a woman in her fifties developed a surgical site infection following back surgery. Despite constant fevers and pain, her doctors ignored the possibility of infection until it was too late. She died of overwhelming sepsis.
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