Girl, 11, Died of Meningitis Medical Negligence, Inquest Finds
September 1, 2021
According to recent reports, meningitis medical negligence contributed to an 11-year-old girl’s death. The girl passed away in February 2020. An inquest into the death found that the girl was left untreated for six and a half hours before she was given antibiotics. The inquest found that the hospital also did not correctly complete a sepsis test on the young girl, which led to the hospital not transferring her to specialist paediatric care. An NHS report also found 11 problems in her care, including a delay in administering drugs.
The girl’s parents took her to Croydon University Hospital’s children’s A&E after becoming concerned she had been suffering with a headache and eye pain for a week as well as dizziness and vomiting, confusion, and a high temperature.
The inquest heard staff incorrectly completed a screening tool to assess the young girl, for sepsis – a condition which sees the body attack itself in response to an infection. Because of the failure, the staff did not instigate a specialist sepsis protocol, resulting in her not receiving appropriate treatment.
After an initial review, she was referred to A&E’s medical team.
However, if the tests had been completed correctly, she should have been referred to a specialist paediatric team and should have started receiving intravenous antibiotics within an hour, the inquest heard. The trust admitted liability for the young girl’s death.
Meningitis Medical Negligence
It’s incredibly important that doctors and medical professionals treat a suspected case of meningitis as a medical emergency. If there are unnecessary delays in its diagnosis, there could be profound and life-changing consequences for the person affected.
Doctors must also recognise the symptoms of meningitis, especially when more than one of them is present in a patient. These symptoms include:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Fainting regularly
- Dislike of light
If doctors don’t perform the right tests for early detection, or there’s a delayed diagnosis of meningitis, then the outcome could be severe. It can have serious long-term effects like brain damage and loss of sight.
Some meningitis medical negligence examples include a failure to:
- Carry out a thorough investigation of the patient
- Complete adequate notes
- Keep in and monitor hourly any child with a temperature of more than 38 degrees Celsius
- Review and act upon a blood test
- Take a full history of the patient’s symptoms
In the case of the young girl who died due to meningitis medical negligence, if the hospital staff would have spotted the red flags and acted on them, then they may have picked up the meningitis and sepsis that she suffered from.
How We Can Help
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