Misdiagnosis and delay in treatment
What is involved?
Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, which can affect anyone at any age. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment for meningitis is important. A delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or mistreatment of meningitis may result in serious brain damage, nerve damage, septicaemia (blood poisoning) or death.
Freeths are an official partner of leading charity, Meningitis Research Foundation. MRF works tirelessly to meningitis and septicaemia through funding vital research, advocating to raise awareness of the infection, training health professionals and providing support and information to those affected. Freeths are proud to support the campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and to help provide support and advice to those affected by meningitis and their families.
A meningitis infection can be bacterial or viral. Bacterial infection is often more serious whilst viral infections are usually milder and not life-threatening. There are 3 main bacterial causes of meningitis: The most common is meningococcal bacteria which is more likely to cause bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years of age and in teenagers. Pneumococcal bacteria which tends to affect adults over the age of 65 years and children under the age of two years. Pneumococcal meningitis has a high risk of death and long-term brain damage.
Why choose Freeths?
- Our specialist clinical negligence team at Freeths has considerable experience in handling clinical negligence claims involving misdiagnosis and delays in the diagnosis or treatment of meningitis. We understand the devastating impact that meningitis can have on patients and their loved ones and we have successfully obtained compensation for patients and those bereaved as a result of meningitis.
- As meningitis claims specialists we look to obtain early financial assistance to enable our clients to obtain the assistance, treatment and equipment they need to rehabilitate and rebuild their lives.
- Our clinical negligence team has a wide range of experts, ready to answer your specific questions.
Call our Clinical Negligence team now to see how we can help you.
In babies, meningitis is often associated with Group B Streptococcal (GBS). GBS is a bacteria carried in the vagina. An estimated 25% of women carry this bacteria and for the majority there will be no symptoms. However, the infection may be transferred to the baby during birth causing meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. GBS is recognised to cause preterm delivery, maternal infection, stillbirth and late miscarriages.
Red flag symptoms of meningitis include sickness, headaches, a stiff neck, drowsiness and a high temperature. Some sufferers develop a blotchy rash on the skin and can experience seizures. If you suspect that you may have meningitis, urgent hospital attention is needed.
When detected early, meningitis can often be treated successfully, usually with intravenous antibiotics and fluids. However, once septicaemia develops or vital organs are affected, a person can become very ill very quickly and the effect can be devastating.. It has been estimated that 1 in every 10 cases of bacterial meningitis is fatal. Long term effects can include brain damage, loss of limbs /amputations, hearing loss, vision loss and epilepsy.
Substandard treatment that may lead to a clinical negligence claim therefore includes misdiagnosis, failure to recognise the symptoms of meningitis and delays in the diagnosis and treatment.
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