A couple is suing a medical clinic for allegedly failing to properly diagnose their four-year-old daughter’s meningitis which led to her death, it has been reported.
Olivia Steinborn, from Texas, was rushed to A&E after her parents found her in bed with blue skin and vomit covering her face in August last year.
Brian Steinborn and Juli Tradwell spotted that she had a temperature of 38.3C and was breathing abnormally, according to Dallas Morning News.
When she arrived at the Excel ER near to the family’s home, she underwent a number of lab tests and was given fluids.
She was then sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic to treat an ear infection.
Five hours later, Olivia, who was deaf and wore a cochlear implant in her right ear, was rushed back to the clinic after her health deteriorated.
By the time she arrived, her heart stopped working and moments later she was pronounced dead.
Coroners concluded that she died from bacterial meningitis, which is a life-threatening condition where membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord become infected.
If not treated immediately, a person could die.
Olivia’s parents have now filed a lawsuit against Excel ER accusing them of medical malpractice and are seeking $1million (£758,100) in damages
They claim the clinic and the doctor on duty failed to properly diagnose Olivia and also acted improperly by sending Olivia home rather than sending her to the nearby hospital.
Excel ER is also accused of failing to appoint ‘appropriately qualified and experienced physicians’ at the clinic.
Symptoms of Meningitis
- Fever, cold hands and feet
- Difficult to wake
- Confusion and irritability
- Severe muscle pain
- Pale, blotchy skin.
- Severe headache
- Disliking the light
The lawsuit states that the clinician treating Olivia was only a medical resident, which means he was still in training and did not have a certificate to operate as an emergency medicine specialist, and they were not told about this.
The couple’s lawyer, Les Weisbrod, who filed the lawsuit, says the clinic was trying to cut costs, adding: ‘The ER was too cheap, and looking too much in the way of profits, to pay for a real physician who had finished training.’
Dr. Armando Correa, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, shared his medical opinion in the awsuit.
He said lab tests on Olivia showed ‘grossly abnormal white count and platelet count which were indicative of an overwhelming bacterial infection.’