$1.25 million settlement for strep infection spreading to spine
An 18-year-old girl, left unable to walk when she was 9 years old, has received a $1.25 million settlement from doctors who failed to follow up on a throat culture that showed strep infection. The girl’s mother took her to the hospital emergency room complaining of a sore throat. A throat culture showed strep, but was misfiled, and not reported to the family. A week later, the girl woke up and was unable to walk. Her mother took her back to the emergency room, where it took the physicians all day to make the diagnosis of a spinal abscess, an infection that had entered the bloodstream and spread from the strep throat. She underwent emergency surgery to drain the abscess. With hard work and extensive physical therapy, she recovered some function in her legs, and now walks with crutches.