Rabies is a rare disease which is predominantly found in dogs, wolves, bats and other types of animal. It can be passed onto humans via a bite from an aggressive animal, most commonly dogs. This serious viral infection targets the brain and nervous system causing symptoms of fever, tiredness, chills, irritability, trouble sleeping, anxiety, headaches and sore throat. There may also be pain and tingling at the site of the bite. These initial symptoms take a turn for the worse when the infection spreads to the nervous system. Furious rabies causes aggressive behaviour, biting delusions and hallucinations. This is accompanied with hydrophobia (fear of water) where water cannot be ingested due to spasms when trying to swallow.
Dumb or paralytic rabies causes the patient to experience a type of paralysis beginning in the hands and feet and spreading throughout the body. In both cases, when symptoms develop, treatment is mostly unsuccessful and the patient will eventually die from heart or lung failure. When the symptoms manifest, treatment is normally unsuccessful therefore early diagnosis is vital. A failure to diagnose rabies can result in mortality among patients.
Results of a failure to treat rabies
As soon as rabies reached the brain and nervous system, patients cannot be treated and will fail to recover. This means that early diagnosis or administration of the vaccine is vital for a patient’s potential survival. As the disease can spread to the nervous system very quickly (particularly if there was a bite to the head or face) early diagnosis can save a life. Tell a doctor if you have suffered a bite from a potentially rabid animal and tell your medical professional if you have been abroad as rabies is predominant in places like Asia and Africa. Treatment has a good chance of being successful if diagnosis is made before the later symptoms develop. If a loved one has tragically died because of a failure to diagnose rabies, your family may be able to win some compensation where there is evidence of medical negligence.
Accident Advice Helpline can assist
Although we understand that money cannot bring back a loved one or take away their pain, it may help your family financially if you have suffered medical costs or are struggling financially without the extra money coming into the home. If medical professionals ruled out rabies without considering that a patient has travelled abroad or has come into contact with a potentially rabid animal, then your loved one may have been a victim of negligence. Call us free on our 24-hour helpline – 0800 689 0500 – to speak with an expert regarding your compensation claim.
Date Published: August 27, 2014
Author: David Brown