Infant Infection Misdiagnosis Lawsuit Results in $7.3M Verdict against Hospital

A child who suffered brain damage as a result of a hospital’s failure to diagnose an infection, has been awarded $7.3 million by a Los Angeles jury.

The hospital malpractice lawsuit was brought on behalf of Paris Campen, who is now five years old, in the Superior Court of California in Los Angles against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The complaint alleged that that hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) negligently failed to diagnose and treat a case of meningitis when the child was just over a month old.

As a result of the bacterial infection misdiagnosis, Campen developed meningitis. She suffered permanent brain damage when the doctors waited eight hours to treat her with antibiotics after she began showing symptoms. According to the Los Angeles Times, Campen now requires physical and behavioral therapy, and has a shunt implanted to drain excess fluids from her brain.

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Bacterial meningitis is a serious, but treatable illness caused by bacterial infection. It results in an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), determining if someone suffers from bacterial meningitis early is crucial for treatment to avoid brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities. It is treatable with antibiotics, but can cause permanent damage or death if it the infection is not diagnosed.

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