It is always potentially dangerous when a physician misdiagnoses a condition, because the misdiagnosis could lead to the lack of treatment, or the patient receiving the wrong treatment. Unfortunately, according to The Hartford Courant.com, a Connecticut boy and his parents know firsthand the damage that can be caused by a doctor’s error. It is the contention of the young boy’s family, who has sued his pediatrician for medical malpractice , that the child’s physician failed to diagnose his bacterial meningitis, resulting in his losing his eyesight.
According to the complaint filed by Katherine Mlodzinski earlier this year, the mother of Adam Mlodzinski, the complainits of the then 7 year old Adam were not heeded when presented to Healthwise Medical Associates, doing business as Vernon Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and Dr. Judy Huang-Bulger, who has a Manchester office. The complaint alleges that instead of recognizing that Adam had life-threatening bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord as a result of a bacterial infection, Huang-Bulger first diagnosed Adam with an ear infection.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis is critical. However, according the Mlodzinski family attorney, Joel Faxon “The doctor blew off basically the severe headache that Adam had. That delay in treatment caused the meningitis to worsen, the brain infection to worsen, and now Adam is blind.”Also according to the CDC’s website, “If symptoms occur, the patient should see a doctor immediately.” In this case Adam did that, but unfortunately, he and his family maintain it didn’t help.
The family alleges that Adam, who is now 9, fell ill on Halloween 2009. Despite several visits to Huang-Bulger, his condition worsened over the next couple of days. After Dr. Huang- Bulger diagnosed Adam with and ear infection, his parents were dissatisfied with the diagnosis. So, the boy’s parents called the doctor again for yet another appointment, the lawsuit states. But a receptionist sent Adam away.
According to The Hartford Courant.com, Huang-Bulger directed that Adam be taken for an outpatient CAT scan of his brain, which resulted in his being diagnosed with a migraine. However instead of sending Adam for a CAT scan, Dr. Huang-Bulger should have sent Adam to an emergency room, where a spinal tap could have revealed that the boy was suffering from meningitis, and antibiotics could have been administered intravenously to stop the deadly disease before it took his eyesight. Faxon maintains that “The signs and symptoms were all there, she (Huang-Bulger) just missed everything.”
According to the family’s attorney, Faxon, a few days after Adam’s initial diagnosis made by Dr. Huand-Bulger, on the night of Nov. 3, 2009, Adam was found unresponsive at home. Adam was rushed to Rockville General Hospital and, from there, airlifted to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. There, Adam remained in a coma before he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. When he awoke weeks later, Adam was blind. As outlined in the family’s complaint, Adam also suffered systemic bacterial infection, fever, respiratory failure, impaired speech, impaired hearing, seizures and brain damage, according to the complaint.
Sadly, Adam a boy who was once a soccer player has had to learn how to walk, talk and eat all over again. This is a tragedy that no family should ever have to endure. As a medical malpractice attorney, it is my hope that Adam receives all of the support and treatment necessary for him to move on with his life, and that he and his family receive the compensation that they deserve as a result of being put thought this horrible ordeal.