Septicaemia Misdiagnosis Compensation

Is it possible to make a claim for septicaemia misdiagnosis compensation for the death of our 5 year old son? We believe that our doctor should have recognised the symptoms of septicaemia in time to save his life.

Answer:

A claim for septicaemia misdiagnosis compensation is possible when there has been a misdiagnosis of symptoms presented to a doctor and a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition has occurred because the symptoms were not identified correctly and appropriate treatment was not provided in an acceptable time frame.

However, in order to support a septicaemia misdiagnosis claim for compensation, it has to be shown that your doctor displayed a lack of skill – or the lack of ability to display that skill – and that “in the circumstances and at that time” a competent doctor would have correctly identified the symptoms presented to him or her.

Due to the nature of the septicaemia symptoms, the condition can be confused with other disorders. Even so, your doctor should have been aware of the possibility of septicaemia and referred your son to a hospital for diagnostic tests. It should have been evident to your doctor that your son was suffering from a serious bacterial infection, and that this should have warranted swift and decisive action.

If tests were not arranged in an acceptable time frame, a claim for septicaemia misdiagnosis compensation should be possible on the grounds of medical negligence; however, as the Injuries Board Ireland declines to assess medical negligence septicaemia misdiagnosis claims for compensation, you will need a solicitor to construct and submit a claim directly to the doctor in question.

Should your doctor deny his liability for your son´s death, your solicitor will have issue court proceedings – an unfortunate procedure in a tragic incident, although an actual court hearing in such circumstances is unlikely. The issuing of court proceedings may simply be necessary to open negotiations into how much compensation for the misdiagnosis of septicaemia you should receive for the death of your son.

Although it may still be a delicate time for you, it would be in your best interests to discuss the specific circumstances of your son´s death with a medical negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity. Unlike claims for an injury to a child, you only have two years in which to claim septicaemia misdiagnosis from the date on which your son died.