Just one instance of undiagnosed serious illness in a Las Vegas neonatal ICU has resulted in almost 1000 people being directly affected.
The Southern Nevada Health District recently reported that it had tested 977 individuals following a tuberculosis outbreak at the Summerlin Hospital Medical Center. The health agency reported that 59 people tested positive, and that two were deemed to be contagious. Colorado Springs medical malpractice attorneys are among those that have learned from this case that tuberculosis still poses a threat to the health of Americans, especially when it goes undiagnosed for so long.
Tuberculosis Remained Undiagnosed
The tragic sequence of events began in May 2013 when a pregnant woman was admitted to the medical center. She gave birth to twins prematurely. They remained in the neonatal ICU, and she was allowed to repeatedly visit them. The whole time, her contagious tuberculosis remained undiagnosed. In June, one of the babies died. In July, the mother died in Los Angeles, and a subsequent autopsy revealed the tuberculosis. Tragically, in August, the other child died, also of tuberculosis.
The chief medical officer for the Southern Nevada Health District, Dr. Joe Iser, spoke of the responsibility that the medical community has to diagnose tuberculosis at an earlier stage. Iser said, “We want physicians to really think about making the diagnosis and quarantining, and then calling us. This has been very expensive for us in terms of time and effort and dollars.”
Lawsuit Alleges Negligence
Now, the case of undiagnosed tuberculosis has lead to a lawsuit. In November, eight individuals joined as plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit. Medical center patients, staff and visitors are among the eight. The government report that followed an investigation into the whole episode may be a factor in the pending litigation. The delay in testing for tuberculosis on the part of the medical center may also come into play.
U.S. tuberculosis cases have declined steadily since the 1950s, but, the disease can spread rapidly if it goes undetected. Also, as happened in this case, it can be fatal.
The consequences of alleged negligent conduct in a medical setting can be severe for those who end up in harm’s way, and can devastate the loved ones left behind. If you believe that you or someone you love have suffered due to negligent medical care, let our legal team investigate. We’ll bring our years of experience For more information from a legal perspective, or to request an assessment of a situation that you or a family member may be facing, please contact us.