The family of a six-year-old girl, who were told their daughter was well enough to return home when suffering from pneumococcal meningitis, are to receive an anticipated seven figure payout in compensation for doctor misdiagnosis of meningitis.
Kate Pierce was just nine months old when she developed the infection and was taken to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor diagnosed Kate as having viral tonsillitis and told her parents it was safe to take her home. When asked if they could have a second opinion, Kate´s parents were advised that the opinion of a senior doctor had been sought when it in fact had not.
Kate´s parents took the little girl home but, when her illness deteriorated further, returned to the hospital the following day. On their return Kate was correctly diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and taken to Liverpool´s Alder Hey Children´s Hospital. However, at this point in time Kate had already sustained severe brain damage and now suffers from chronic lung disease, severe epilepsy and is registered both blind and deaf.
The family took legal advice about claiming compensation for doctor misdiagnosis of meningitis and sued the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board for medical negligence – claiming that the severity of Kate´s condition could have been avoided if she had been diagnosed correctly. After an investigation into the misdiagnosis claims, Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted 75 per cent liability for Kate´s injuries and, at Mold County Court, a judge heard that a compromise situation had been reached.
How much compensation for doctor misdiagnosis of meningitis Kate´s family will receive will be decided at a hearing later this year.