Dementia is a progressive illness where the brain and its abilities gradually decline over time. The main symptom is memory loss but other related symptoms include impairment in understanding, judgement, mental agility and speed of thinking. The illness is most common in those over the age of 65 and many sufferers also experience changes in mood and difficulty socialising. Although memory loss is a part of getting older, the memory loss associated with dementia is also accompanied by the other symptoms mentioned as well as periods of mental confusion and difficulty maintaining independence. As the symptoms progress, many patients will need to have the help of a carer and may eventually have to be entered into a hospice or care home where they will have care 24/7. Your doctor should conduct a thorough diagnosis including blood tests and asking about your lifestyle as well as considering any medication you are taking which may be causing the symptoms. There may also be a referral to a neurologist to confirm diagnosis. The failure to diagnose dementia can result in the condition progressing and may shorten a patient’s lifespan by a few years.
Effects of failure to diagnose dementia
The disease is a progressive one which means it will worsen over time on its own. However, many people with the condition can lead full and active lives with the correct treatment and support from medical professionals. Some types of dementia can be treated with supplements and some medications can help to slow down its progression. A failure to diagnose dementia means that the patient will not receive the treatment to slow down the progression of symptoms and will not receive the support needed to help with socialising and everyday tasks. Where there is evidence that medical negligence took place and dementia was undiagnosed and untreated, you may be able to make a compensation claim with the right support.
Calling Accident Advice Helpline
Our law firm helps victims of negligence to claim compensation for their unnecessary suffering. Call us on our free 24-hour helpline – 0800 689 0500 – to talk with an adviser about your case. You can also call on someone else’s behalf if they have suffered an illness that was not originally diagnosed. Our no win, no fee* policy means that you won’t suffer financially if you choose to make your claim with us. It is your right to claim compensation to help you cope with any extra needs that you or a family member may need such as home care or adaptations to the home.
Date Published: August 14, 2014
Author: David Brown
Category: Medical negligence claim