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Miami Teen Dies From Bacterial Meningitis After Missed Diagnosis

A local teen died from bacterial meningitis after a doctor allegedly failed to accurately diagnose him.

Christopher Valdes, whose mom also had a close call with viral meningitis a couple of years ago, died Friday. The day before his death, Valdes felt ill and was taken to the Baptist Medical Plaza at Country Walk. The teen was suffering from nausea, stiff joints and low blood pressure. Despite his father requesting tests for meningitis, the doctor diagnosed him with the flu and sent him home with prescriptions for ibuprofen and Zofran.

When Valdes got home, his symptoms got worse and he complained of a rash. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital South at around 5 a.m., but it was too late.

Valdes was a senior at Coral Reef Senior High School, and students have been advised to wash their hands, avoid sharing drinks and be aware of symptoms, which include fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and a rash. Students who had contact with the student have received preventative treatment from private doctors and at a local hospital.

This illness is not related to the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis.

The Valdes family believes the doctor was negligent, as the doctor was informed of the family's history with meningitis.

Medical malpractice, also referred to as medical negligence, applies to doctors, hospitals, nurses and other health care professionals who fail to act reasonably or deviate from a reasonable standard of care that a similar medical professional would exercise under the same circumstances leading to injury or death of a patient.

For more information, please contact us.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Meningitis a déjà vu nightmare for Coral Reef student's family," Oct. 15, 2012.

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