We are investigating a potential claim for a client with multiple sclerosis and considering whether the condition should have been diagnosed much earlier and at a time when treatment would still have been successful.
Our client attended a GP a number of times some years ago complaining of persistent dizziness, vertigo, pins and needles in the legs running up to the chest, blurred vision and memory loss, among other symptoms. The GP put those symptoms down to general tiredness and ageing. He arranged for our client to undergo blood tests and an X-ray, but the results were normal. The GP did not undertake a neurological examination.
Much more recently our client has been diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. The treating neurologist has indicated that had this diagnosis been made earlier, steroid treatment would have been an option. It is likely that this would have successfully controlled the condition, preventing it from reaching the secondary progressive stage. However, our client is no longer able to benefit from steroid treatment to prevent the condition from causing significant mobility restrictions and is already confined to a wheelchair.
We are looking into whether there was a negligent failure by the GP to appreciate the nature/severity of the symptoms and to make a referral for neurological investigations. We believe this will be borne out and that it is also likely that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have made a significant difference to our client’s condition and prognosis. If that proves to be the case, then the claim will be valued on the basis of the professional care our client now needs for life, adaptations to the home, or potentially a house move to single-storey accommodation, equipment and therapies as well as for pain, suffering, loss of amenity and loss of earnings.