Late diagnosis and treatment of subdural empyema – £2,046,938

7-year-old Tyler began to feel unwell and was lethargic and sleepy. He was also complaining of back pain and intermittent headaches and then began vomiting. After a visit to A&E and then to the GP, he was diagnosed with a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.

The next day, Tyler’s parents found him lying on the floor and unable to move his legs so they took him to hospital. A CT scan showed Tyler had a subdural abscess and Tyler was referred for surgery. He required a second craniotomy, which left him with a skull defect of about 5cm by 4cm wide. The defect was covered by a titanium plate.

Tyler’s neurological injuries resolved over time leaving him with epilepsy (which needed to be controlled by medication) left sided weakness and some vulnerability.

Tami Frankel, pursued the claim on the basis that the presenting symptoms on the 2nd August should have prompted an urgent CT scan which would have shown the presence of the empyema. If this had happened, Tyler would have had surgery more than twenty-four hours earlier than he did, avoiding all permanent neurological damage.

Posted in Misdiagnosis claims