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Meningitis Misdiagnosis
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    Meningitis is an illness caused by infection of the protective membranes (known as meninges) which surround the brain and spinal cord. Development of the disease is most common in young adults and children, particularly those under the age of five; however, it is by no means exclusive to this age range.

    The infection progresses rapidly and can be difficult for those who are not medically trained to identify as some symptoms mimic that of other less serious illnesses, such as flu.

    If a medical professional fails to diagnose meningitis swiftly, the consequences for the patient can be devastating, even life-threatening.

    If your child’s meningitis diagnosis was delayed due to an initial misdiagnosis or negligence on the part of a GP or treatment centre, Healys medical negligence solicitors can assist you in making a claim for compensation.

    Identifying the symptoms of bacterial meningitis

    Meningitis occurs as a result of either a bacterial or viral infection. Vaccine programmes have helped bring down the number of incidences of both types of the disease. However, some bacteria strains have proved difficult to immunise against and still pose a threat to young children especially, as they have not yet built up their own natural immunities.

    Symptoms of bacterial meningitis are varied – in young children, toddlers and babies these can include a combination of the following:

    • Aversion to bright lights
    • Stiff neck
    • Unresponsiveness or drowsiness
    • High-pitched cry
    • Unwillingness to feed
    • High fever with cold hands and feet
    • A rash which does not fade when a glass is rolled over the skin
    • Rapid breathing
    • Convulsions or seizures

    It is vital for treatment to be administered as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the system. If bacterial meningitis is not identified swiftly the patient may develop complications, such as septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be fatal.

    The after effects of meningitis

    If treatment of bacterial meningitis is delayed and meningococcal septicaemia develops, this may result in scarring and tissue damage. It can also lead to permanent brain damage.

    Blood vessels impaired by the infection are no longer able to carry oxygen and blood to the skin and tissue, causing cells to die (necrosis).

    The patient may be treated with skin grafts and further plastic surgery procedures to help heal damaged areas of skin and improve appearance. In extreme cases amputation of an affected limb may be necessary.

    Healys can help

    If your child’s health or quality of life has been affected by a meningitis misdiagnosis or any other form of medical negligence which caused a delay to vital treatment being administered, personal injury compensation can go a long way to assist funding future care or home renovation.

    Even if your child has made a full recovery, you may still be able to make a claim if there is evidence to prove that your child was caused undue distress and suffering due to medical negligence which has had a lasting effect.

    Healys medical negligence solicitors will work diligently to ensure your child receives the most beneficial financial settlement possible, all the while handling your claim with care and compassion.

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    • Jonathan was able to help the husband of a 50 year old woman claim compensation after the hospital failed to diagnose her cancer. Mrs L attended hospital complaining of pain in her abdomen. She was discharged without further tests but unfortunately she died of thyroid cancer a few months later. Jonathan argued that the chance for a liver biopsy was missed during her visit to hospital and although this would not affect the unfortunate outcome, palliative care could have been arranged to ease Mrs L’s suffering. Jonathan was able to secure Mrs L’s husband a five figure sum in compensation.
    • Jonathan has also helped the family of a 71 year old man claim compensation after a complication in his surgery caused his death. Mr R was suffering from chest pains and was admitted to hospital for tests. He was found to have an issue with his heart and doctors attempted to rectify this with a surgical procedure. Unfortunately during this procedure an air pocket had got into one of his blood vessels which caused Mr R’s death. With expert medical evidence Jonathan was able to secure Mr R’s family £75,000 in compensation.
    • Jonathan helped X get further compensation and access to services to aid in his rehabilitation. X was a subject of sexual abuse from his step father between the ages of 5 and 7. Initial application for compensation was made in 1990 and X was awarded £10,000. After several attempts at his own life, X decided to contact Jonathan to seek further compensation. Jonathan was able to secure X £200,000 in compensation and an overall award of £1,200,000 inclusive of state benefits. More importantly Jonathan then arranged the Special Needs Trust to support X’s rehabilitation.
    • Jonathan helped the parents of Baby B claim compensation after a failure in care during labour resulted in Baby B’s death. Initially the Trust denied they were responsible for Baby B’s death but after negotiations the Trust admitted responsibility and Jonathan was able to negotiate an out of court settlement for Baby B’s parents.
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      18th January 2022

      Disabled children bring great joy to their families’ lives but, with an eye to their future care needs, it is always wise to explore the possibility of seeking compensation. In a case on point, a settlement secured for a profoundly disabled teenager successfully ensured that she would always be properly looked after. Continue reading »

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