Reading the article this morning in the Miami Herald about Bryant De La Cruz's death of bacterial meningitis reminds me of the family of a seven year old boy who we represented after the young boy died of meningitis which was undiagnosed at a local hospital. Like Mr. De La Cruz, the young boy we represented was taken to the hospital and discharged with instructions to take Tylenol and rest. He too died on his way back to the hospital.
I do not know the facts of Mr. De La Cruz's visit to the hospital so I will not speculate. However, there are symptoms that should alert patients and healthcare workers to consider meningitis as a possible diagnoses. A stiff neck, unusual weakness and/or a rash or redness on the body should be considered warning signs. In our case, the healthcare providers failed to check the boy for a rash. Had they done so, they would have noticed the rash on his legs and treated him with the appropriate antibiotics.
Sometimes, these types of deaths are unavoidable. But, when someone dies shortly after being discharged from a hospital, the family deserves to have the case investigated. Our law firm, Freidin Brown, P.A., like others, handles cases on a contingency fee basis, which allows families to have tragic cases like this investigated with no up front cost to them.