A Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury recently returned its verdict in favor of the mother of a 32-day-old baby who died eight years ago from undiagnised pertussis (whooping cough).
The mother’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit that was filed in 2016 alleged that the defendant health care providers failed to timely diagnose and treat her daughter, despite the mother’s insistence that they test the baby for whooping cough because the mother also had symptoms of having the childhood disease.
After the jury found in her favor, the mother stated, “I truly hope that anyone else that is in a situation where they believe their doctors or other professional failed to adhere to the proper standard of care, that this will give them hope that your voice can be heard,” adding, “Everyone needs to get their kids vaccinated.”
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
The CDC’s website states that pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated.
The CDC states that the best way to prevent pertussis is to get the vaccine. There are vaccines for babies, children, preteens, teens, and adults: DTaP is the childhood vaccine and Tdap is the pertussis booster vaccine for preteens, teens, and adults.
The CDC recommends whooping cough vaccination for all babies and children, preteens and teens, and pregnant women. Adults who have never received a dose of Tdap should also get vaccinated against pertussis.
Symptoms Of Pertussis
Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 5 to 10 days after exposure but sometimes do not develop for as long as 3 weeks. Pertussis usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. In babies, the cough can be minimal or not even there. Babies may have apnea (a pause in the child’s breathing pattern). Pertussis is most dangerous for babies: about half of babies younger than one year who get the disease need care in the hospital.
Early symptoms of pertussis can last for 1 to 2 weeks and usually include runny nose, low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease), mild, occasional cough, and apnea.
If you or a family member suffered serious injury (or worse) due to the misdiagnosis of pertussis in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state, who may investigate your pertussis misdiagnosis claim for you and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
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