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Child left with severe hearing problems after undiagnosed tuberculosis

A young girl with a rare form of TB that left her with chronic ear infections and ultimately deafness has received sizeable damages after her GP failed to advise her to have a BCG vaccination and to diagnose the problem. She and was represented by clinical negligence solicitor Henry Dyson.

Photo: istock

20 April 2005

A three year old girl contracted a rare form of tuberculosis in Indonesia which left her with chronic ear infections and ultimately loss of hearing. Her GP failed to advise on BCG vaccination before the visit and also failed to diagnose the infection on her return. She received sizeable damages which have been placed in trust until she is an adult.

Visitors to Asia are at increased risk of contracting TB

The child’s Indonesian mother was planning to take her daughter on an extended trip to visit her Indonesian family. She went to see her GP prior to their trip. The girl was only vaccinated against typhoid, despite advice to doctors that all those travelling to Asia for longer than a month are at increased risk of contracting tuberculosis.

After her trip she returned to the doctors a number of times over the next few years with chronic ear infections and discharge from her ears. Three years after her Indonesian trip she was shown to be almost totally deaf in both ears. However, it wasn’t until five years after her trip that she was finally diagnosed with having the rare condition of tuberculosis infection in both ears.

Anti-tuberculosis therapy would have saved her hearing

It is believed that she picked up the infection while on holiday, and that a preventative BCG injection would have protected her from this. Her tuberculosis infection should also have been picked up soon after her return from Indonesia. If she had received the appropriate triple anti-tuberculosis therapy she would not have suffered from such an extended infection and her hearing would have been saved.

The family were represented by clinical negligence solicitor Henry Dyson. A sizeable amount of damages were negotiated on her behalf in an out of court settlement. As well as covering the expense of medical treatment and sophisticated hearing aids, the highest proportion of the compensation was for future loss of earnings, due to the fact that her loss of hearing would hinder her in the jobs market.

For more information, or of you have think you may have a claim and want free initial advice, please call 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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