Meningitis is an extremely serious illness, and is the medical term used to refer to inflammation and swelling in the tissue which surrounds the spinal cord and the brain. In severe cases it can have life-changing effects it can result in permanent brain damage, sensory loss and can be fatal.
If meningitis is diagnosed early and treatment begun, these serious effects can often be avoided and the patient has a better chance of making a full recovery.
There are two types of meningitis. Viral meningitis is usually not as serious, and the patient gets better without medical intervention. The more serious type of meningitis is bacterial meningitis. This can be caused by a range of different bacteria. Most cases are caused by the mengicoccal bacteria, but pneumococcal and E-coli bacteria can also cause the illness. Blood poisoning, medically known as septicaemia, is usually a symptom of bacterial meningitis.
Meningitis is tricky to diagnose, and can easily be mistaken for flu as the patient has similar symptoms. However, medical professionals should be able to tell the two conditions apart and send the patient to hospital immediately to begin a course of antibiotic treatment.
Typical Meningitis Cases
Family doctors often fail to diagnose meningitis and do not send patients to hospital for life saving antibiotic treatment, but other medical professionals can miss the condition too.
If the patient is already in hospital, they may be discharged without being properly diagnosed, or have the treatment started too late.
Fortunately, meningitis is relatively rare, and in 2009/2010, there were 2,777 reported cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK.
Claiming for Meningitis Misdiagnosis
- Firstly, it must be demonstrated that person concerned must have suffered an illness or injury. If medical misdiagnosis is suspected, proving this will mean getting an expert opinion from a medical professional.
- Secondly, it must be established that someone failed to spot the illness and was negligent. This can be done by showing the symptoms that the patient was suffering from at the time, and establishing that a medical practitioner should have been able to spot them and identify the illness.
Thinking of Claiming Compensation for Meningitis Misdiagnosis? Call us now
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