Three-month-old Emma Takacs developed a poor appetite. She had a fever that was in excess of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Emma’s mom and dad took her to a hospital’s emergency room where a nurse documented Emma’s abnormal vital signs and fussiness.
An emergency department doctor, Duane Siberski, M.D., examined Emma. Dr. Siberski diagnosed an ear infection. Emma was discharged with a prescription for an oral antibiotic and her parents were given instructions to take her to see a pediatrician, if needed.
A few days later, Emma was found to be lethargic and her skin was cool to the touch. Emma’s parents brought her to another hospital where she was diagnosed as having bacterial meningitis, a hypoxic brain injury and hydrocephalous. Hydrocephalous is a medical term for what is known as “water on the brain.” The condition is one in which an abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid lodges in the ventricles or cavities of the brain. It can be caused by and is connected with the bacterial meningitis that results in an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. That tissue is called “meninges.” Acute bacterial meningitis is a very serious condition.