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Meningitis is caused by a normally harmless bacteria found in the back of the throat in up to 10% of the population. During infection, the toxins released by the bacteria can cause the blood vessels to leak which results in a drop in blood pressure and shock. Treatment involves antibiotics and IV fluids. A 19 year old girl went to hospital complaining of light sensitivity, sore neck and high fever. She was misdiagnosed with the flu and sent home. Less than 12 hours later, she died. The family was distraught and at hospital meetings they were given no guarantee that the mistake would not happen to another patient. Doctors claim that the condition is very swift and easily misdiagnosed.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Canadian Press
About: Meningitis misdiagnosis often fatal
Date: 18 February 2005
Source: Canadian Press
Author: Dirk Meissner
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