Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves. Because meningitis can be serious if not treated quickly, misdiagnosed meningitis can cause a lot of problems.

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers, and young adults. Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Bacterial meningitis is rarer but more serious than viral meningitis.

Infections that cause meningitis can be spread through sneezing, coughing, and kissing.

Meningitis is usually caught from people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat but are not ill themselves. It can also be caught from someone with meningitis, but this is less common.

misdiagnosed meningitis

Misdiagnosed Meningitis

It’s incredibly important that a suspected case of meningitis is treated 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:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Fainting regularly
  • Dislike of light
  • Fever

If doctors don’t perform the right tests for early detection, or there’s a delayed diagnosis of meningitis, the outcome could be severe, with serious long-term effects like brain damage and loss of sight.

Some medical mistakes 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

Claiming on Behalf of A Child

If a child suffers misdiagnosed meningitis, then a parent or guardian may be able to claim for them. Any compensation received is put into a special fund or trust for the child to access when they turn 18. Or managed by trustees to cover the cost of caring for a child with a disability sustained as the result of negligence.

Usually in medical negligence cases, there is a three-year time limit from when the negligence happened, or when you were aware of the negligence to make a claim. However, this is not the case if a child suffers medical negligence. In that case, a parent or guardian can make a claim on their behalf until they turn 18, and after that, they have until they turn 21 to make a claim for themselves.

How We Can Help with Misdiagnosed Meningitis

Here at The Medical Negligence Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with medical negligence cases. This includes misdiagnosed meningitis. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.