November 19, 2010
618 former patients of a paediatric neurologist, who were negligently diagnosed as suffering from epilepsy, have received epilepsy misdiagnosis hospital compensation payments totalling more than 8 million pounds.
The patients, who were all children when it occurred, were negligently diagnosed with epilepsy by Dr Andrew Holton at the Leicester Royal Infirmary between 1990 and 2001, despite many of them only displaying symptoms of headaches or even just misbehaving. One child, having been prescribed a cocktail of anti-convulsant drugs by Dr Holton for ten years, was later diagnosed as having suffered from autism throughout the whole period.
Following a range of complaints by parents that the medication prescribed for their children´s epilepsy conditions caused the children to suffer side-effects such as blackouts and drug-induced hazes, the General Medical Council (GMC) suspended the doctor from duty and, in 2006, ruled that his professional performance had been “seriously deficient”. The Leicester Royal Infirmary was also criticised in a Department of Health inquiry for their reaction to claims of medical negligence and lack of effective management.
The payments of hospital compensation for epilepsy misdiagnosis have been made throughout the year, and have ranged in value from a thousand pounds to one of 240,000 pounds.