Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).
The disease is most commonly seen in babies, children and young adults although other age groups are not exempt from falling victim to it.
The key issue in cases of meningitis is that of a quick diagnosis. Failure to do so can often lead to life threatening consequences.
Claims arising from meningitis related negligence tend to revolve around:
- failures in diagnosing the symptoms of meningitis
- a delay in providing treatment for meningitis
- errors when differentiating between the symptoms of meningitis and flu like symptoms
- failures in treating bacterial meningitis as an emergency
- delays and errors when carrying out correct tests and scans
- delay in providing correct treatment such as antibiotics
- failure in carrying out physical examination for septicaemia (blood poisoning) often disguised as a purple colour rash
- and other meningitis treatment errors.
As part of establishing negligence on the part of any doctor in cases of meningitis, we have to understand how the patient contracted the infection, know what kind of infection it was, because that dictates what kind of treatment they needed, and know what was the timescale during which the infection developed, and the point where treatment could no longer make a difference to the patient.
Failure to provide effective treatment can lead to potentially catastrophic consequences such as:
- hearing loss or vision loss, which may be partial or total
- problems with memory and concentration
- recurrent seizures (epilepsy)
- co-ordination, movement and balance problems
- loss of limbs – amputation of affected limbs is sometimes necessary.
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a diagnosis of meningitis being missed or delayed and would like to discuss whether it is possible to bring a compensation claim, please contact our Clinical and Medical Negligence lawyers on Freephone 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat or complete the request a call back form and we will call you.