New research has shown that the cost of compensation claims being made for clinical negligence in relation to doctors failing to properly diagnose meningitis in the UK has reached £22 million.
According to a report conducted by the Medical Defence Union (MDU) - which is a non-profit organisation that seeks to protect medical professionals "when their clinical performance is called into question" - this is total amount of damages claimed in such cases since 1998, despite there being just 34 such instances in the last 12 years.
This has resulted in the MDU issuing a new set of guidelines for GPs in order to advise them on how to properly recognise the illness' symptoms immediately as it can result in disability or brain damage if it is not caught early enough.
It is hoped that this will help prevent any further cases such as one which resulted in damages of £6.8 million being awarded.
Paul Sankey, specialist clinical negligence solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker said: "I think these new guidelines are a sensible idea. Meningitis can cause very serious injury in both adults and children and rapid diagnosis is crucial. Sadly some patients will die and others will go from living active independent lives to suffering brain injuries and serious disability when doctors miss the symptoms."
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Posted by Cheryl Bennett