Novum Law’s specialist medical negligence solicitors have been appointed by a man whose life-threatening encephalitis was misdiagnosed.

In June 2018, Mr S was suffering from a severe headache. Over the next day or so, the pains in his head worsened, and he developed flu-like symptoms and a high temperature. His condition rapidly deteriorated.

Mr S was taken by ambulance to the A&E department of Salisbury District Hospital where his condition was assessed.

At this stage, he was in significant pain and feeling disorientated. Unfortunately, despite his continuing confusion and worsening symptoms, Mr S was diagnosed as suffering from a viral illness and discharged home.

He was actually suffering from encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus, an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed. Encephalitis can be life-threatening and requires urgent treatment in hospital.

Following his return home, Mr S’s health continued to decline. Two days’ later, he was taken back to the hospital, where his condition was correctly diagnosed this time as viral encephalitis. He was then given the appropriate treatment, which included a course of anti-viral medication.

Compensation for encephalitis misdiagnosis

Mr S has appointed Novum Law to investigate the circumstances surrounding the delays to his encephalitis diagnosis.

Our specialist medical negligence team has brought a claim against Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust alleging that the decision to discharge Mr S from the hospital was negligent.

We believe that if he had received the correct diagnosis the first time around and been promptly admitted to the hospital, he would have commenced the necessary anti-viral medication at least 38 hours earlier and his outcome would have been significantly better. He would have been able to return to work and carried out his normal day-to-day activities completely independently.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has subsequently admitted that the treatment administered to Mr S was negligent. However, they currently dispute the fact that the delay in diagnosing and treating our client’s encephalitis made any material difference to his outcome. The case continues.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, delayed treatment, treatment errors or any other medical negligence, then please get in touch. Call Novum Law on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email: or complete the enquiry form on this page.

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