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Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person’s spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is sometimes referred to as spinal meningitis. The disease is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

Failure to timely diagnose meningitis can be considered medical malpractice. Are you or a loved one the victim of meningitis medical malpractice?

Do I have a meningitis medical malpractice lawsuit? Our lawyers are ready to answer your inquiry. Please complete the short questionnaire on the right.

Septic shock kills. Undiagnosed septic shock is considered medical malpractice.


Septic shock is a caused by an infection in the bloodstream when blood pressure falls dangerously low and organs malfunction because of inadequate blood flow.

Septic shock occurs most often in newborns; people 50 years and older; people who have a chronic disease like diabetes; and people with a weakened immune system, who have AIDS or cancer or are getting chemotherapy.

In infants, septic shock can be caused by Group B strep (GBS) during childbirth and after delivery. Septic shock can also be caused by meningitis. For the elderly who waste away in nursing homes, infected and neglected bed sores or pressure sores may be the cause of septic shock. Does your loved one have a septic shock lawsuit?

Septic shock is caused by cytokines and by toxins produced by bacteria which result in dropping blood pressure. Reduced blood flow impairs the kidneys and brain. The body tries to compensate but the toxins escape from the bloodstream into tissues to cause swelling which in turn causes respiratory distress.

The greater problem with septic shock is lack of timely diagnosis and treatment. About 33 percent of adults with septic shock die — that is unacceptable; that is medical malpractice.

Septic shock symptoms look much like other symptoms. Initial symptoms include confused and diminished mental acuity. These symptoms may last a day or more before your blood pressure drops. More symptoms include shaking and chills, warm and flushed skin, a rise in body temperature, rapid breathing, pounding pulse, and blood pressure that rises and falls. Bladder output decreases. Tissues with poor blood flow release excess lactic acid into the bloodstream which results in different organs malfunctioning and failing. When the kidneys fail, an accumulation of metabolic waste goes into the blood. When the lungs fail, breathing difficulties result and reduces the level of oxygen in the blood. When the heart fails, there’s fluid retention and blood clots form inside blood vessels.

Diagnosing septic shock requires analyzing blood samples and ECG (electrocardiogram). Once diagnosed, intravenous fluids will be given to increase blood pressure and drugs may be prescribed to increase blood flow to organs. Oxygen and a ventilator will help breathing. High doses of intravenous antibiotics are given to increase the chances of killing the bacteria. Abscesses are drained and surgery may be performed to remove any gangrenous tissue of the intestine.

Contact Monheit Law for your free, no-obligation consultation so we may evaluate the facts and determine how we can help you.

Hydrocephalus, Shunt Malfunction and Medical Malpractice

Water on the brain is a common term frequently used to mean hydrocephalus. Fluid not water accumulates excessively on the brain. Technically, the fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

When there is an excessive accumulation of fluid, the result is abnormal widening of spaces in the brain known as ventricles. This abnormal widening adds harmful pressure on brain tissues.

The Ventriculo-Peritoneal or VP shunt is small tubing that is placed inside the brain’s ventricle and tunneled underneath the skin to the peritoneum which is a membrane that lines and protects the abdominal cavity and its contents. The purpose of the VP shunt is to reduce the amount of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain by draining it into the abdominal or peritoneal space.

Shunt malfunction

Like most medical devices, shunts are not without malfunction problems. Mechanical failure, infections, obstructions, and the need to revise or replace the catheter are complications which may occur.

Some complications can lead to other problems such as over draining or under draining. Over draining happens when the shunt allows the cerebral spinal fluid to drain from the ventricles more quickly than fluid can be produced causing the ventricles to collapse, causing torn blood vessels, and triggering headaches, hemorrhaging, and slit ventricle syndrome.

Medical malpractice

Shunt systems require monitoring and regular medical follow up. Some patients fare well and some — not. A patient’s prognosis is further complicated by the presence of associated disorders, the timeliness of the right diagnosis, and the success of treatment. Misdiagnosis and shunt malfunction complications are two reasons to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If your loved one has suffered shunt malfunctions, your family may be entitled to a VP shunt medical malpractice lawsuit. Talk to Monheit Law to find out what your legal options are.

Shunt Malfunction Blindness

The hind part of the brain or the occipital lobe is responsible for visual processing. Also pressure changes in the brain caused by over draining may contribute to blindness. Sometimes the blindness is temporary and sometimes vision disturbances are irreversible.

Misdiagnosis or not looking for visual changes as a symptom during shunt malfunctions is another reason for blindness.

Every patient will experience different symptoms. Doctors and assisting medical staff must be cognizant that there are no cookie cutter adverse events. Intracranial pressure or ICP from ventricular shunt failure may be overlooked or misinterpreted during a MRI.

Another problem with increased intracranial pressure is swelling of the optic disc also known as papilledema caused by an increase in fluid pressure within the skull.

The optic nerve transmits signals from the eye to the brain. Almost all cases of papilledema affect both eyes. Papilledema can be observed in people of any age, but is relatively uncommon in infants because the bones of the skull are not fully fused together at this age.

Has a loved one suffered blindness from shunt malfunction? If the answer is yes, it’s advisable to speak to Monheit Law to find out if any medical malpractice was involved.

VP Shunt Malfunction Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of VP shunt malfunction?


Wouldn’t life be great if when a medical device was implanted it would work as anticipated? In perfect perhaps but that’s not always the case even with modern medicine and high technology.

When a VP shunt has to be replaced, your doctor will require shunt revision surgery which will modify or alter your shunt. Before that happens here are some signs and symptoms for why a revision would be necessary:

  • Mechanical failures, i.e. valve fails to work correctly
  • Use of the wrong type of shunt valve
  • Infections
  • Obstructions
  • Need to lengthen or replace the distal catheter or valve

If you or your child has a VP shunt, know the symptoms that would alert you, your family, and your doctor to developing problems. If you have more than one of these symptoms at the same time, get medical help immediately.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Behavioral changes, irritability
  • Persistent headaches with increased severity
  • Loss of balance or mobility, stumbling, or drifting to one side or the other while walking
  • Lethargy, tired all the time, or difficult time walking
  • Impaired cognitive ability
  • Unable to process thoughts or perform routine tasks without being disoriented
  • Loss of memory
  • Vision problems, including double vision and crossed eyes
  • Loss of upward gaze
  • Slurred speech
  • Persistent low grade fever usually greater than 100 degrees or a high grade fever 102-104 degrees
  • Redness along the shunt tract
  • Tenderness in the areas surrounding the shunt system, including the abdomen
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal heart rate

If your loved one’s VP shunt malfunctions, get medical help and get legal help ASAP. Unsafe medical devices and medical malpractice are serious matters requiring legal assistance. Contact Monheit Law today.

Bacterial Meningitis Exposure During Pregnancy


Bacterial meningitis exposure during pregnancy is dangerous to both mother and baby.

At an Ohio hospital maternity ward, two healthy pregnant women were both infected with bacterial meningitis within two weeks of each other. They did not know each other and they were not in the same room. They both received spinal anesthesia. One woman died after childbirth leaving behind a healthy newborn, a toddler, and a husband. Of course, the hospital started investigation.

Another way pregnant women can be susceptible to bacterial meningitis exposure is from contaminated foods that cause listeria or listeriosis. Pregnant women have weakened immune systems that are considered high risk. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache and stiff neck can occur. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to more serious problems for the fetus.

Listeria can be found in deli meats. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening. Other foods which may be contaminated with Listeria are smoked seafood, jerky, unpasteurized milk, pâté, and imported soft cheeses like feta, gorgonzola, queso blanco, and brie.

Listeria may cause bacterial meningitis.

When contaminated food is eaten, listeria bacteria channels through the wall of the intestine and spreads by way of the bloodstream to other organs, particularly the brain and placenta of pregnant women. Direct, person-to-person transmission is unlikely, except from mother to baby.

Has a beloved mother-to-be suffered bacterial meningitis from food poisoning or while in the hospital, pre delivery?

Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis


Failure to diagnose meningitis is considered medical malpractice. Are you or a loved one the victim of meningitis medical malpractice?

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person’s spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is sometimes referred to as spinal meningitis. The disease is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

The severity of the disease depends on whethermeningitis caused by bacteria or a virus. Viral meningitis is usually less severe and can be cured without specific treatment, but bacterial meningitis is far more serious and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disability, or even death.

Early diagnosis and identifying the specific type of bacteria that caused the meningitis can be significant because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people.

Only about 3,000 Americans contact meningitis annually. Teens and young adults have a greater risk of getting infected. About10 to 12 percent of bacterial meningitis cases are fatal. Of the meningitis survivors, about 20 percent suffer from long-term problems such as brain damage, kidney disease, hearing loss, or loss of limbs.

Meningitis shows up significantly at college. Students may be at greater risk due to crowded living conditions such as dormitories; sharing utensils; active or passive smoking and irregular sleeping patterns. Other high-risk groups include infants and young children, refugees, household contacts of case patients and military personnel.

Meningitis is often misdiagnosed as something less serious because early symptoms are similar to the flu. Most of the fatalities associated with meningitis occur because of failure to diagnose the disease early enough. For whatever reason, doctors may not use the most logical resources to diagnose meningitis patients.

Have you, your son or daughter or a loved one been misdiagnosed for meningitis? This is a serious offense, wrongful negligence, and medical malpractice.

Bacterial Meningitis Treatment in Children


Bacterial meningitis must be treated immediately. Parents must not wait until next week to see their doctor. Bacterial meningitis comes on quickly and children need immediate attention with the proper diagnosis and treatment. Children who survive bacterial meningitis may suffer long-term complications like hearing loss, paralysis, learning and behavior difficulties, and seizures. Advanced bacterial meningitis can lead to brain damage, coma, and death.

Failure to properly diagnose or provide treatment for bacterial meningitis is considered medical malpractice.

When arriving at your doctor’s office or ER, medical professionals should check for temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen in the blood. The younger the child, the more difficult it is for them to express their pain and symptoms.

One of the defining diagnostic tools of bacterial meningitis is a spinal tap or lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord where the infection of meningitis occurs. The fluid is sent to a laboratory and checked for red and white blood cells, protein, glucose, and other organisms. Other tests may also be given.

However, it’s dangerous to wait for results so treatment must begin regardless.

If the child is in respiratory distress – a breathing tube will be administered.

A heart monitor will measure the child’s heart rate and rhythm.

An IV provides fluids and to prevent dehydration.

Bacterial meningitis can be treated with a number of effective antibiotics based on a child’s age and weight.

Failure to properly diagnose or provide treatment or timely treatment for bacterial meningitis is considered medical malpractice. If your child has suffered because of failure to properly diagnose or be provided treatment for bacterial meningitis, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Please contact Monheit Law to determine what your legal options are.