Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Brain damage victim wins £3.2m after doctors missed meningitis

A man who was left severely brain-damaged after doctors failed to diagnose he was suffering from meningitis for five days was today awarded £3.2million in compensation.

Mark Thomas, 20, is unable to work or live independently as a result of the brain injury sustained in 2002, when he was 12 years old. Doctors at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands did not link his symptoms to the potentially fatal illness...

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represents Mr Thomas, said he first attended Walsall Manor hospital on February 9 2002 following a series of ear infections. He complained of a stiff neck, an aversion to bright lights and extreme lethargy, the firm said. A blood test was taken but the results - which showed Mr Thomas to be suffering from a meningeal infection of the brain - were not reviewed and he was sent home.

A spokesman for Irwin Mitchell said: "These symptoms, together with the blood test results, if they had been reviewed, should have rung alarm bells with doctors. However, rather than admitting Mark into hospital, he was instead sent home and the blood test was not acted upon for five days."

On February 14 Mr Thomas's parents took him back to the hospital where they were told by a nurse that his condition was not sufficiently serious and they were "using emergency A&E services inappropriately". When the couple demanded a second opinion the blood test results were analysed and meningitis was diagnosed...
Source: The Metro

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