A woman from Tonbridge in Kent has been left with life changing injuries after doctors misdiagnosed a brain haemorrhage as tonsillitis.
Christine Morgan, 64, was working as a hairdresser and it was while colouring a customer’s hair that she felt a ‘whooshing sensation’ followed by neck pain and a severe headache. These symptoms developed into both back pain and a high temperature as well as a white spot on her tonsil. Her husband, Dave, 65, decided to call and out-of-hours GP who visited her at home. The GP diagnosed tonsillitis and prescribed penicillin.
Christine recalls that she was diagnosed with tonsillitis on January 19th 2016: ‘He checked my glands and temperature and said he could see a small white lump on my tonsil. I was still a little bit nervous as I’d told him that I hadn’t had a cough or a sore throat, but you trust the doctors. He said I had tonsillitis, and I believed him.’
However, Christine’s symptoms worsened, so her husband rang NHS 111. They were advised to go to Accident and Emergency where the bleed in the brain was discovered. Christine’s emergency operation to stop the bleeding took place on January 25th in an attempt to limit the damage which had been caused already.
Christine had suffered a brain haemorrhage and stroke. A stroke is caused when the blood supply is cut off to a part of the brain. This can lead to brain injury, disability, and can be fatal. The condition requires urgent medical attention to minimise the damage caused by the stroke. The sooner a person receives care, the less likely they are to suffer long term damage.
Christine added: ‘Those six days cost me crucial time – the surgery left me paralysed entirely on my left side, I had to try to relearn to walk and my left foot will now always have drop-foot.’
While it is not certain whether an earlier operation would have prevented the effects which Christine is now living with, but she believes that misdiagnosis delayed her receiving appropriate treatment which could have prevented some of the damage caused by the stroke. Christine is no longer able to work, and her husband is now her full-time carer.
Christine says that St George’s Hospital in London – where she underwent her operation – ‘could not believe the signs had been missed’.
Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness in arms, legs or face, particularly on one side of the body
- Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding the speech of others
- Difficulty in seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden and severe headache
- Dizziness, loss of coordination or balance, trouble with walking.
Christine has hired lawyers to pursue a medical negligence case for this reason.
The medical negligence solicitor representing Christine and said: ‘The symptoms Christine experienced are the classic signs of a potential sub-arachnoid haemorrhage and warranted urgent hospital admission for further investigation and treatment. Her story is a reminder of the importance for all medical professionals to be aware of the signs of a stroke and take appropriate action at all times.’
If you would like to discuss a medical negligence issue that has affected you or your family, or you have been affected by this story or then it is in your best interest to get in contact with us at The Medical Negligence Experts where we can discuss your issue and help you make a claim.