There are many different causes of meningitis, but the two most common organisms are viruses and bacteria.
Viral meningitis is usually a relatively mild condition although it will certainly make most people feel rather poorly. It most commonly impacts young children, infants and babies and while most will make a complete recovery from the disease, some unlucky victims may have long lasting, severe, symptoms.
Bacterial meningitis is the more serious type of meningitis and requires immediate expert medical assistance without which it can be fatal. Indeed, as many as 10% of those unfortunate enough to catch it are at serious risk. Even if a recovery is made, many of those patients will not make a complete one but be left with significant ongoing effects.
In the United Kingdom the names of the bacteria that predominantly cause meningitis in the UK are “Meningococcal”,“Pneumococcal” “TB” and “Hib”.
Some bacteria that cause meningitis can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning). Often, victims will have both at the same time.
Urgent attention is needed and this is often the reason the disease, if misdiagnosed, can be so danagerous. Very strong antibiotics and other treatment will be administered, and hospitalisation will follow in order that the progress of the disease can be constantly monitored.
The younger the sufferer, and the more serious or advanced the disease, the more likely that this admission will be to a high dependency unit (aka critical care or intensive care unit).
Conversely, the sooner that treatment is given, the better the chances of avoiding serious implications.
Consequences of Meningitis
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but some of the consequences of bacterial meningitis (i.e. short of death) are:
- Brain damage, itself causing epilepsy, loss of memory or cognitive impairment, deafness;
- (If accompanied by septicaemia) loss of limb/s.
Action to take?
The Meningitis Trust, a source of knowledge and information on the subject, as well as support for sufferers and their families, warns that the condition can deteriorate very quickly indeed and therefore the speed with which treatment is sought and given can be critical, indeed may be the difference between serious and permanent harm (or death) and a condition that is treatable with no lasting effects.
Lloyd Green Solicitors have an experienced team of solicitors who deal with negligence arising from the delay in diagnosis of meningitis.
It is vital to identify meningitis quickly and accurately and the failure to do so, whether by Hospital, clinic, or (more customarily) by GPs, or indeed subsequent inadequacies in treatment received following correct diagnosis, can render the clinician/s in question liable for a claim for damages due to negligence.
No amount of money can ever of course be enough to compensate for injury (or worse) in these circumstances however the cost of long term care, for example, is prohibitive and where the law provides an entitlement to damages, it is there for a very good reason, and we believe that this reason is that you should receive everything that is justifiably permitted.
We will handle claims we can accept, after an initial free assessment on a “no win, no fee” basis so you need not have any concern about your legal costs either.
Call our meningitis experts today or at your convenience, no obligation and entirely confidentially, to discuss your claim further.