Brain Injury Case Studies

Missed Diagnosis-Sub-Dural Empyema

A 21 year old Navy enlisted man hits his head on a file cabinet.  It is a puncture type wound.  A Navy doctor stitches up the wound and discharges him.  Several days later he is spiking a fever and having vision problems.  He sees a private E.R. physician who gives him antibiotics, but does not perform a CT scan of his head.  Three weeks later, the patient is in serious trouble and a second E.R. physician fails to admit him to the hospital.

The patient is ultimately diagnosed with a sub-dural empyema brain infection.  He undergoes 18 brain surgeries over a period of a year to address multiple infections.  His skull cap is replaced with a synthetic material which causes multiple infections.  Patient is severely disabled for the rest of his life.