Family doctors helped to recognise meningitis symptoms after payouts for misdiagnosis soar
GPs are being issued with more in-depth guidelines to help increase the speed and accuracy with which they diagnose cases of meningitis. The issue has been raised by the revelation that legal payouts for missed or late diagnosis of meningitis by GPs can cost millions.
The consequences of missed diagnosis can be extremely serious, including brain damage and even death. Meningitis is particularly dangerous for babies and children who may then need special care and medical expenses for the rest of their lives.
The guidance has been outlined by the Medical Defence Union, who claim the diagnosis of meningitis and meningococcal disease “continues to present a diagnosis challenge to clinicians, particularly GPs”.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has also recently published a checklist of signs and symptoms of the infection and a guide to treatment. GPs are also being advised to ensure parents understand what to look out for and what to do if their child’s condition worsens.
Fast diagnosis can be vital in meningitis cases so make sure you know what signs to look out for.
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