Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner Fails to Diagnose Bacterial Meningitis


nurse practitioner expert witnessThis case takes place in New Mexico and involves a 5-year-old female who was taken by EHS to Emergency Room (ER) with flu-like symptoms. She was evaluated by an ER nurse practitioner and was discharged promptly. Her parents were advised to give the girl TheraFlu. Unfortunately, the girl expired the following day and it was determined by autopsy findings that she had bacterial meningitis, which went undiagnosed. COD on Autopsy: Influenza B.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely see patients like the one described above?
  • 2. Have you ever had a child suffer from a failure / delay in diagnosing the condition described above?
  • 3. Have you ever been the target of a malpractice claim?
  • 4. Have you ever taught / lectured / published on this subject (ie: thorough workup, avoiding the likelihood of a missed diagnosis opportunity)?

Expert Witness Response E-023326

As an Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner, I have treated multiple pediatric patients who have presented to the Emergency Room with similar symptoms. I am absolutely familiar with current practice and treatment guidelines for patients with bacterial meningitis and their management and treatment. I have never had a patient develop this outcome. Presently, I am also an Assistant Professor at major nursing college and I have taught and lectured on the topic of thorough workups in order to avoid missed diagnosis. This case is right in my area of expertise.

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