When we enter the hospital for treatment we trust that the doctors and other medical staff will provide us with the best possible care and will diagnose and treat our condition. That was not the situation in a recent case. A woman visited the hospital with complaints of a stiff neck, pain, a rash, and a low-grade fever. The attending physician tried to perform a test to ensure that the woman was not suffering from meningitis. However, the doctor tried more than 20 times to insert the test needle and as a result caused serious nerve damage. The woman filed a lawsuit in Cook County against Centegra Hospital-McHenry and the doctor who treated her.
The woman presented at the hospital with symptoms that could be consistent with meningitis. Therefore, a lumbar puncture was required to rule out the illness. Meningitis is a serious infection that affects the brain and spinal cord. The procedure is also called a spinal tap. It is a test used to diagnose meningitis. A needle is put into the spine to collect fluid for testing. If meningitis is present the patient requires immediate treatment to achieve a complete recovery. In some cases, severe damage or even death can occur if the proper treatment is not quickly provided.
In this instance, the doctor apparently was unable to properly collect the sample and therefore tried inserting the needle numerous times. The woman returned to the hospital less than a week later with severe pain in her back and numbness in her legs. A diagnosis showed that she had sustained extensive nerve damage due to the negligence of the doctor who improperly performed the spinal tap. In cases such as this one, the doctor was responsible for providing proper care and when this is not done, the result may be medical malpractice. A medical malpractice lawsuit is necessary to collect damages to cover medical bills and other expenses incurred as a result of the injury.
Permanent Nerve Damage
The doctor in this case was unable to properly perform the spinal tap test. The continual poking of the needle into the woman’s back was the alleged cause of severe and permanent nerve damage. The woman may not ever fully recover from the problem and may require medical treatment for years to come. Additionally, the numbness and pain may never fully go away and this can cause suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. She may have trouble walking or standing and could be unable to work. These issues would not have happened had the doctor been more careful when performing the spinal tap.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The woman in this case has filed a lawsuit seeking damages of more than $50,000. Money received in damages in a lawsuit are used to cover the expensive medical treatments that have occurred and are likely to be necessary in the future. Damages may also include money for pain and suffering as well as for lost wages and the inability to lead a normal life in the future. If you or a loved one was injured because of medical malpractice, contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.