Wednesday 24th April 2019 is World Meningitis Day.
Meningitis affects more than 2.8 million people each year worldwide. Whilst infants, young children, teenagers and the elderly at greatest risk, meningitis can affect anyone at anytime.
Meningitis can develop quickly and has the potential to cause death and life changing injury within 24 hours so spotting symptoms quickly and seeking urgent medical attention is key.
Prevention is more effective than treatment. Vaccinations are essential to prevent meningitis and reduce the number of lives that are irrevocably changed.
The focus of this year's campaign is Life After Meningitis.
For survivors of meningitis, the long term effects may include:
- Acquired brain injury
- Sight problems
- Hearing problems
- Learning difficulties
- Behavioural changes
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Memory problems
- Limb loss from septaecemia
- Organ damage and other complications from septicaemia
To help raise awareness of the impact of meningitis Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) has produced survivor stories highlighting the lives of 5 individuals after meningitis. You can view these on youtube (https://youtu.be/CRrMJDwJ5IQ) or on the CoMO website (http://www.comomeningitis.org/world-meningitis-day/wmd-2019/world-meningitis-day-videos/)
These videos are reminiscent of the challenges faced by meningitis survivors that I and my colleagues at Freeths have worked with and represented. We are proud to have supported our clients and their families to meet those challenges, including by pursuing successful claims for compensation to help rebuild their lives.
Freeths Oxford Clinical Negligence team are panel solicitors for Meningitis Research UK and have specialist expertise in clinical negligence cases involving meningitis and septicaemia including brain injury and limb loss claims.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of meningitis and you have concerns regarding the medical care provided then please contact Catherine Bell (01865 781140 / firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Carolyn Lowe f(01865 781019 / email@example.com ) for free confidential initial advice.
Key facts: •Meningitis can affect anyone of any age •Meningitis can kill •Meningitis can cause long-term after-effects •Viral and bacterial are the most common causes of meningitis •No vaccine provides 100% protection against meningitis •Early signs and symptoms can appear similar to 'flu' or a stomach bug