Man Dies From Bacterial Meningitis After Being Sent Home From the Hospital

Bryant del la Cruz died at Baptist on Tuesday morning

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012  |  Updated 8:28 PM EDT
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Bryant del la Cruz's family is struggling to come to terms with his quick and unexpected death from bacterial meningitis. His cousin Marta Lucia Gonzalez and uncle Hans Martinez spoke about it. Baptist Hospital, which treated him, said in a statement that it could not provide specific information about treatment because of patient privacy laws, but said it is working closely with the Miami-Dade County Health Department.

Bryant del la Cruz's family is struggling to come to terms with his quick and unexpected death from bacterial meningitis. His cousin Marta Lucia Gonzalez and uncle Hans Martinez spoke about it. Baptist Hospital, which treated him, said in a statement that it could not provide specific information about treatment because of patient privacy laws, but said it is working closely with the Miami-Dade County Health Department.

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Bryant del la Cruz’s family is struggling to come to terms with his quick and unexpected death.

He went to the emergency room at Baptist Hospital Monday night, and even posted on Facebook that he was there and feeling sick.

"He spoke with his aunt asked him how he felt, he said he had a fever and a headache," said his uncle Hans Martinez.

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Records show a history of fever and sepsis, which is a severe response to bacteria. Blood results from the hospital show some signs consistent with an escalating bacterial infection.

However, he was diagnosed with a viral sore throat, sent home, and advised to take over-the-counter pain medications.

"After returning home he still felt bad. His ex-wife then returned him to the ER. On the way he became unresponsive," his uncle said.

He died at Baptist Tuesday morning from bacterial meningitis, not a virus.

“For me, it was the irresponsibility of Baptist to let him leave and when he returns he’s dead," said his cousin Marta Lucia Gonzalez.

He was not given antibiotics Monday night. His family wants the community to be aware of the symptoms which include: high fever, stiff neck, severe headache and vomiting

"Don’t treat it like a flu because the results could be disastrous as in this case," Martinez said.

"The patient died at Baptist Hospital, but due to patient privacy laws, we cannot provide specific information about treatment. We continue to work closely with the Miami-Dade County Health Department," said Anne Smith, the hospital's director of marketing and public relations, in an email statement.

NBC 6 spoke to two doctors unrelated to this case or Baptist Hospital. They say that based on what the records show, this patient should not have been sent home.

The patient's ex-wife was initially isolated. She and other close contacts were given antibiotics to prevent infection.

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