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 hospital meningitis misdiagnosis.
Kate Pierce from Wrexham, North Wales, was just nine months of age when she developed the infection and was taken to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor diagnosed Kate with 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 told that the counsel of a senior doctor had been sought when it in fact had not.
Kate´s parents took the little girl home but, when her condition deteriorated further, returned to the hospital the next day. On their return Kate was correctly diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and sent to Liverpool´s Alder Hey Children´s Hospital. However, 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 hospital meningitis misdiagnosis 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 allegations, 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 agreed upon.
How much compensation for hospital meningitis misdiagnosis Kate´s family will receive will be decided at a hearing later this year.