Meningitis Misdiagnosis in Children Continues To Have Devastating Consequences

Meningitis Misdiagnosis in Children Continues To Have Devastating Consequences

In the field of medical negligence it is worryingly common to hear of people misdiagnosed by their GPs only to be admitted to hospital with a life-threatening condition hours later. While some illnesses are understandably difficult to detect, in many misdiagnosis cases it is almost unbelievable to learn of the tell tale signs that failed to be picked up.

Last week the heartbreaking misdiagnosis of Kelsey Smart hit the headlines after the five year old schoolgirl began displaying classic meningitis symptoms that were downplayed as a virus by two GPs.

Kelsey was taken to an out of hours surgery after suffering from severe vomiting and the tell tale pin prick rash associated with the life-threatening brain disease, yet her parents were told by the first locum they saw at an out-of-hours GP surgery that Kelsey was suffering from a virus and taking her to hospital would be a waste of their time.

After her parents became increasingly worried about her condition, Kelsey was taken to another GP at her local surgery who dismissed the rash as a symptom of the virus. Kelsey’s obvious agitation was also said to be dismissed by the GP during the short consultation.

After being dismissed twice, Mrs Smart suspected Kelsey was suffering from appendicitis and drove Kelsey to hospital. During the journey, Kelsey began fitting and was rushed to hospital by ambulance only to be proclaimed brain dead at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

This deeply saddening incident hit the The Telegraph’s health correspondence alongside the case of 10 year old William Cressey who passed away in 2005 after hospital staff failed to recognise he was suffering from meningitis. Despite the fact William was clearly in agonising pain, hospital staff failed to take his symptoms seriously because he didn’t have a rash. A senior nurse, Christopher Kirby, is now attending a hearing before the Nursing and Midwifery Council after accusations he failed to carry out proper observations.

These incredibly sad cases just highlight further that serious conditions can slip under the net even when the symptoms demonstrate textbook cases. If you feel that you or a loved one have been misdiagnosed or received unsatisfactory health care and you would like answers, contact medical negligence specialists Pearson Hinchliffe for sensitive and professional advice.