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Doctors' failure to diagnose teen illness leads to tragedy

A parent's worst nightmare is watching a child grow sicker and sicker. Parents in Illinois may try home remedies or over-the-counter medication at first. When the symptoms do not improve, a visit to the doctor may be warranted. If the condition becomes worse, the parents may feel a trip to the emergency room is the next step. After taking these steps, a doctor's failure to diagnose the problem may be frustrating and terrifying.

One 13-year-old girl was taken to medical professionals numerous times over a period of three months without relief. For months, the frantic mother hoped someone would figure out what was wrong with her child. The teen complained of nausea, blinding headaches, numbness in her tongue and changes in her vision. While these symptoms are apparently text book indicators of a brain tumor, doctors treated her for sinus infections and migraines.

During her final trip to the emergency room, doctors treated her worsening symptoms, blaming her lethargy and confusion on the medication. Still, neither the girl's pediatrician nor emergency room doctors ordered a CT scan of her brain. Instead, the doctor noted that the girl appeared to be exaggerating.

When the child became unresponsive and stopped breathing several times, doctors finally ordered the scan. The test revealed a massive tumor. The tumor had grown so large at that point that fluid in her brain caused tremendous pressure that resulted in irreversible brain injury. Several days after emergency surgery, she was declared brain-dead and removed from life support.

Like any family in Illinois, the girl's loved ones grieved for the suffering and death of the vivacious teenager. They filed a lawsuit against several medical facilities and individual doctors, citing their failure to diagnose the child's brain tumor on nine different occasions. When people exercise their rights to seek compensation for medical malpractice, it is beneficial to have a passionate and experienced attorney on their side.

Source:, "Family of Molly Banzhoff sues Concord Hospital, alleging medical negligence", Jan. 16, 2017

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