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Did diagnosis errors cause permanent damage to college student?

Being sick is no fun, and the more severe the symptoms, the more frightening and disconcerting an illness can be. New Jersey residents rely on doctors to figure out what is ailing them and prescribe the appropriate treatment to heal them. However, when the right treatment is delayed due to diagnosis errors, a patient's life can be put in jeopardy, and long-term health consequences can result.

For example, back in 2015, a 19-year-old college student on the west coast got suddenly and violently ill. She suffered from fever, body aches and a sore throat, along with a fever, sweats and chills. She was also vomiting, had a headache and was congested with a cough. The physician's assistant took a nasal swab to determine whether the woman had the flu, and she was diagnosed with a non-specific viral syndrome. She was told to increase her fluid intake and get some rest.

The problem was that during that time, the University of Oregon was experiencing an outbreak of meningitis. At the time of the doctor's visit, the woman's mother requested that her daughter be tested for the disease, but that test was never done. Sometime later, the student was finally tested and properly diagnosed with meningococcal disease and was hospitalized.

In a recently filed lawsuit, the woman claims that the diagnosis errors at that first visit delayed proper treatment, which would have spared her the permanent damage to her lungs and heart that resulted from the illness. Unfortunately, this woman's story is not unusual. New Jersey residents who believe that a misdiagnosis caused them permanent injuries or ended the life of a loved one could benefit from determining whether a medical malpractice claim would be appropriate based on the available evidence. 

Source:, "UO student sues for meningitis misdiagnosis", Desiree Bergstrom, Jan. 13, 2017

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