When word of an outbreak hits the news, parents of college age children begin to worry.  Campus life tends to be an incubator of sorts for meningitis outbreaks.  Sharing closed quarters, getting irregular sleep, and unsanitary conditions may contribute to the spread of the illness.

Meningitis is a medical ailment that can cause serious complications if it is not treated properly.  Kansas City adults and youth are potential victims of meningitis.  Understanding the serious nature of the illness and the symptoms can help protect you and your loved ones from this serious condition.

Meningitis infects the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and the brain.  Meningitis comes in two forms: viral or bacterial.  Bacterial meningitis is more serious than in viral meningitis, and can lead to serious brain damage and death.  Unfortunately, meningitis is often diagnosed wrongly as the flu, a much less serious condition.  Early and proper diagnoses are necessary to help public health officials take necessary measures to help prevent the spread of the illness. Meningitis, both viral and bacterial, is usually accompanied by the following symptoms:
  1. Chills and fever, often high
  2. Stiff neck
  3. Terrible headache
  4. Sensitivity to light
  5. Irritability, confusion
  6. Drowsiness
  7. Seizures, possible coma

Infants and small children may also exhibit incessant crying, whimpering, and lethargy.  High pitched cries are a hallmark of meningitis.  Babies may also seem inconsolable when held, exhibit a blotchy appearance to the skin, vomit or show a lack or an appetite.  Parents should also watch for blank stares and visible discomfort in the neck or the back.

Intravenous antibiotics are necessary for treating acute bacterial meningitis.  Specified treatments for other symptoms like brain swelling, convulsions, dehydration and secondary infections may be necessary.  For this reason, adequate testing must be performed.  Antibiotics are not effective for treating viral meningitis, which is less serious.

Unfortunately, many doctors fail to order the right tests for properly diagnosing meningitis.  Some fail to take a comprehensive patient history, missing markers that might lead to the conclusion that meningitis is a possibility.  Further, sometimes tests are interpreted incorrectly.

Early diagnosis can help contain the spread of this serious disease, especially in hotbed environments like college campuses and military barracks.  

Do You Think You May Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.