Case study: delayed meningitis diagnosis led to premature death

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Our medical negligence solicitors advised the family of a woman who sadly died after sustaining a catastrophic brain injury after contracting meningitis.

‘Severe ear infection’ diagnosed by GP

Mrs S had been diagnosed with a severe ear infection (otitis media). When her condition deteriorated, a home visit from the GP was requested but this never took place. Unfortunately, her condition continued to deteriorate and she was ultimately admitted to hospital after her husband rang 999 the following morning.

Brain injury due to delayed meningitis diagnosis

As a result of this delay of around 10 hours, Mrs S did not receive the appropriate treatment for what would later be diagnosed as pneumococcal meningitis. Mrs S sustained a catastrophic brain injury after contracting meningitis subsequent to the severe ear infection and sadly passed away.

Jay Nathwani, Senior Associate in our clinical negligence team, advised on the claim, which was initially on behalf of Mrs S but was brought on behalf of her estate and dependants after she died.

The claim for delayed diagnosis leading to premature death

Mrs S suffered brain injury and, being rendered profoundly cognitively impaired, had to be cared for in a care home. She had limited quality of life until her death four years later.

It was found that Mrs S’s injuries were significantly worse than they would have been had she been treated more promptly, and they eventually led to her premature death.

The claim was settled out of court for £500,000.

Further information on claiming for misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

This was a sad case, and one that ultimately could have been avoided with prompt action from a GP. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a brain injury and/or delayed diagnosis, our medical negligence solicitors are here to help. Our specialist lawyers work with clients all over the UK from our central Bristol office.

For a confidential, no-obligation discussion about a potential delayed diagnosis claim with a member of our clinical negligence team, call us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.


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