According to a recent report, An inquest has heard that an 11year old girl who had contracted meningitis died due to medical negligence. The girl, Annalise Luffingham passed away on February 11 last year after contracting the deadly virus.
Her parents Tracey Shephard, 49, and David Luffingham, 54, took her to Croydon University Hospital’s children’s A&E having suffered headache and eye pain, dizziness and vomiting, confusion and a high temperature for at least a week.
A hearing into her death revealed that the child had to wait in hospital for six-and-a-half hours before antibiotics were administered. This was due to Sepsis tests not correctly completed by a staff which meant that she wasn’t transferred to specialist paediatric care.
Because of the failure, a specialist sepsis protocol was not initiated resulting in a catastrophic delay in commencing the right treatment for Annie. If the tests had been completed correctly, she would have been transferred to a specialist paediatric team where she would have been given intravenous antibiotics within an hour, the inquest heard.
Annie was only reviewed by a paediatric consultant after three hours of arriving at the hospital. She was subsequently given ibuprofen and paracetamol but had to wait six-and-a-half hours after she arrived at the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics.
Annie suffered a cardiac arrest just over an hour later and although she was resuscitated and transferred to another hospital, she tragically died the next day.
Meningitis Negligence Claims
Meningitis is one disease that affects both the young and elderly but is predominantly seen in children and teenagers. Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges (the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). These membranes are responsible for protecting the brain and spinal cord, therefore if the condition is not treated properly, it could lead to severe brain damage or death.
Statistics have shown that about 500,000 people living in the UK have contracted meningitis at one point in their lives. Reports also show that there are about 9,000 new viral and bacterial meningitis cases every year. Unfortunately, the mortality rate of bacterial meningitis is 1 in 10 while 33% of survivors are left with permanent after-effects.
A recent data from the Public Health England (PHE) on the number of meningitis cases in the UK, shows a 12% decrease in the cases of invasive meningococcal disease (a leading cause of bacterial meningitis). This has been attributed to COVID-19 mitigation protocols across the UK including social distancing and lockdown measures.
Meningitis is broadly classified into three types;
- Viral meningitis– this can be caused by herpes virus and transmitted from person to person through contact, sneezing or coughing. It is less serious than bacterial meningitis but requires urgent diagnosis and treatment.
- Bacterial meningitis– caused by bacterial infection and is more life threatening
- Fungal meningitis- a rare type which occurs when a fungal disease enters the body and then spreads to the brain or spinal cord. It is common in people with weakened immune systems and prematurely born babies.
Most often the symptoms of meningitis can be difficult to recognize because they can resemble “flu-like” symptoms. The disease can also progress without any symptoms. However, the following are symptoms which can indicate meningitis and which requires that the sufferer seeks prompt medical attention. They are;
- Cold hands and feet
- High temperature
- Fast breathing
- Spots or Rash
- Discomfort when looking at bright lights
- A stiff neck
- Muscle and joint pain
Meningitis Medical Negligence claims refers to when an individual takes legal actions against a medical professional or health facility for poorly handling a case of meningitis leading to complications of death of the patient.
Making Meningitis Claims
To prove your meningitis negligence claim, you should be able to demonstrate that;
- Your doctor or healthcare provider owed you a duty of care
- Your doctor or healthcare provider acted negligently towards you or your loved one thus breaching the duty of care they owe you.
- The actions of your doctor were not in accordance to globally acceptable standard of care and that another medical professional would not have acted in the same way
- The actions or inactions of your medical professional caused you or your loved one avoidable pain, injury or complications
The following information will be required from you to support your claims-
- Your personal details and detailed statements of the medical negligence incidence
- Medical records, test results and scan results
- witness statements
- Evidence of financial losses incurred including estimated future financial losses
- Pictures if available
- Medical Report from an independent medical expert on the extent of damage, as well as any other relevant document to support your claims
Stages Involved In Making Meningitis Negligence Compensation Claims
Our meningitis claims solicitors will also explain better to you how the entire negligence claims work. In summary, the stages are outlined below-
- Contact Us
- Funding your claim
- Establishing liability
- Submitting a letter of claim to the defendant
- Negotiating a deserved compensation
How Much Can I Get For My Meningitis Compensation Claims?
The amount you will get for your meningitis claims is not a fixed amount but will be dependent on the events surrounding your case. The following factors will be considered when negotiating your compensation fee-
- The nature and severity of injury suffered
- Emotional trauma
- Future prognosis
- Costs of further medical appointments and treatment
- Costs of rehabilitation and therapy
- Costs of purchasing assistive devices and other specialist equipment
- Past, present and estimate future financial losses
- Cost of care requirements
How Can We Help
Our meningitis claims solicitors have the expertise to guide you, give you the proper legal advice and ensure you get the best possible legal representation having done so for several other clients in the UK.
Our solicitors are friendly, approachable and understanding. We recognize how difficult a situation this is for you and so we will ensure that the entire claims process is smooth and stress-free for you. Our goal is to see that you have something to console you after a tragic incident and we will stop at nothing to see that you get the right compensation for your loss.
We will undertake your claims on a no win no fee basis which allows you to make your claims without fear of paying legal fees. You will only have to pay 25% of your compensation fee after a claim has been successfully won.