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Mother Of 5 Dies Of TB Meningitis After Migraine Misdiagnosis

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The family of a mother of five receives monetary compensation for the misdiagnosis that led to her death in 2015.

Her husband says her life could have been saved if proper diagnostic procedures had been followed.

Mom Of Five Misdiagnosed With A Migraine

In 2015, Lissa Beechey, mother of five children, had become bedridden from severe headaches and tiredness. By that time, she already had the need to wear sunglasses due to her sensitivity to light.

At the Princess of Wales Hospital, she was diagnosed with a migraine and sent home with a prescription for paracetamol. She was admitted back to the hospital 10 days later and was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, but she eventually died of Tuberculosis meningitis on Oct. 1.

According to her husband, Simon Aberstone, Beechey had presented all the symptoms of TB meningitis when they first came to the Princess of Wales Hospital where she was initially misdiagnosed with a migraine on Sep. 10. However, doctors ruled TB meningitis out.

He further states that despite seeing the shadows on Beechey's lungs from a prior X-ray, doctors ruled out TB meningitis for a second time before she was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales where she eventually died.

Proper Procedures Not Followed

"You don't rule out TB until you've tested for it and if just one doctor had followed the correct procedures and given her the right medication then Lissa would still be here," said Aberstone, a statement that the family's lawyer reiterates.

The family has been compensated for their loss while increased staffing, awareness-raising, and training have been implemented in the hospitals involved to prevent such cases of misdiagnosis in the future.

What Is TB Meningitis

TB Meningitis is a condition wherein the tissues covering the spine and brain are infected by the bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The infection often comes into the brain and spine from another organ such as the lungs. It is a very rare condition in the United States and those who have it have often traveled from another country.

Symptoms of the infection tend to begin slowly and may include fever, light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, decreased consciousness, agitation, as well as mental status changes. In children, additional symptoms such as poor feeding, irritability, and bulging fontanelles or soft spot may occur.

TB meningitis is a very serious condition that often requires medication to fight the bacteria for at least 12 months. If left untreated, TB meningitis is life-threatening and may require multiple testings and follow-ups for both detection and monitoring.

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