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Epilepsy Claims

Delayed diagnosis of epilepsy compensation claims

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Making a claim for a delayed epilepsy diagnosis

Epilepsy is a relatively common condition across the UK, affecting both children and adults. But that doesn’t mean that the condition is any less distressing. The seizures associated with the condition can be terrifying, especially if the reason for them is unknown due to misdiagnosis and medical negligence.

For those that have experienced a delay in diagnosis, it means that treatment to control the condition is also delayed, potentially having a serious impact on their quality of life and the chance of complications occurring. We know that after a delayed diagnosis an epilepsy misdiagnosis lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind but it can help you hold those responsible to account and receive financial compensation.

While winning a medical negligence claim won’t undo the suffering that has already been caused, it can help you take a step forward. The money secured, for instance, can be used for further medical treatment that could improve your condition or help you cover expenditure while you take time off work to recover.

The causes of epilepsy are numerous and wide-ranging.  In cases of epilepsy misdiagnosis, the symptoms can be confused with other conditions, most commonly a panic attack but also an irregular heartbeat and even a migraine.

In cases where a patient may actually be suffering from epilepsy, the correct form of the condition may not be diagnosed. In other instances, patients are misdiagnosed with epilepsy when they may have a cardiac condition, which remains untreated as long as the misdiagnosis continues.

An epilepsy misdiagnosis could mean patients are given treatment or medication:

  • That doesn’t help them
  • Is harmful and may aggravate their actual condition
  • Leaves the real and unidentified condition untreated

The use of incorrect drugs and treatment prescribed because of a misdiagnosis can potentially be life-threatening and can cause both the patient and their family unnecessary anxiety and stress.

There are a number of specific symptoms that help to identify different types of epileptic seizures. A GP or doctor should immediately refer a patient suspected of having epilepsy to a specialist for confirmation and to begin appropriate treatment.

If you have good reason to believe that you or a family member has not received the appropriate standard of care through a failure to diagnose and treat epilepsy and that this has led to further harm and suffering, you need to find out if you have a genuine case of clinical negligence.

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Our expert team will call you...

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of medical malpractice cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a medical negligence case.

Our Epilepsy expert team. We deal with medical negligence claims arising from Epilepsy.

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value medical negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us now on 0151 550 5228(calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

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10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

Can I claim for misdiagnosed epilepsy?

If you have been affected by medical negligence you may be able to make a claim against those responsible. Successful epilepsy misdiagnosis claims must demonstrate both that medical negligence was to blame for the delay in diagnosis and that it caused undue suffering.

Showing that your suffering was the result of medical negligence can take a variety of forms depending on your personal circumstances. For instance, it could show:

That you presented the symptoms of epilepsy to your doctor but they were not followed up

  • That further testing, such as an MRI or EEG, was inconclusive but symptoms were not further investigated
  • That abnormalities in test results were not followed up

That there was an unnecessary delay in receiving tests that were required

Epilepsy misdiagnosis compensation claims can help you reflect how you’ve been affected by medical negligence and support you with moving forward.

Read less

Can I claim if misdiagnosed epilepsy affected my child?

Epilepsy often develops during childhood and can be distressing for the whole family, especially if misdiagnosis has occurred. It is possible for parents to make epilepsy misdiagnosis claims if their child has been affected. You will still need to follow the usual processes, such as acting within three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ and building a case that proves medical negligence was to blame. If you would like to make a claim as a parent, our epilepsy misdiagnosis lawyers are on hand.

How much compensation will I get?

Each epilepsy misdiagnosis malpractice claim is different and this is reflected in the compensation that claimants are awarded. Misdiagnosis of epilepsy compensation takes a range of factors into consideration and as a result it’s not possible to state how much compensation you could receive without first listening to your experiences.

If you want to take your claim forward, our expert team are on hand to offer you advice. Using their knowledge from supporting those affected by medical negligence, they will be able to tell you how much epilepsy misdiagnosis compensation you could receive. We will work with you to place a value on your claim that accurately reflects how you’ve been affected, from undue suffering to having to take extended time off work due to GP misdiagnosis of epilepsy.

Read less

How long do I have to make a claim?

Epilepsy misdiagnosis cases that are the result of medical negligence have up to three years to be brought forward. If you would like to make a claim, we can help you.

You have three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ to make a claim and we understand that sometimes it can be difficult to identify this starting point. Misdiagnosis of epilepsy can be complex but we can use our skills to unravel the details and find the point that you first realised when you had been let down, legally referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’.

While you do have up to three years to make your claim, we recommend that you act sooner. Taking swift action can make it easier to build your case, which will include gathering documents, such as medical records, and witness statements to support your case. We know that it can be a daunting process. But with Your Legal Friend by your side, we can make your misdiagnosed epilepsy lawsuit as smooth and stress free as possible.

Read less

What is epilepsy?

Abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes an interruption and temporary change to brain signals. This causes sudden, repeated seizures and convulsions, and can lead to a loss of consciousness.

Defining epilepsy by seizure episodes

Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that can be defined by one of the following:

  • At least two unprovoked seizures occurring more than 24 hours apart.
  • One unprovoked seizure and a probability of further seizures occurring over the following 10 years.

Basic types of epileptic seizures

There are more than 40 types of seizures, which may be experienced and divided into two groups:

Partial seizures: one part of the brain experiences disturbances - includes jerking movements beginning in the face or hand and spreading to the limbs.

Generalised seizures: the entire brain is affected by disturbances including:

  • ‘impairment of consciousness’ and becoming rigid
  • jerking with ‘impairment of consciousness’
  • fixed staring for a few seconds
  • a brief contraction of the limbs
  • a brief loss of muscle tone associated with falls.

Prior to complex partial seizures, unexpected tastes or smells may be experienced.

A continuous seizure or recurrent seizures without regaining consciousness can last for 30 minutes or longer.

Following a seizure, residual symptoms such as drowsiness, amnesia, or headaches may be experienced.

Read less

Are there different types of epilepsy?

Yes. There are several different types of epilepsy and these can have different causes, symptoms, and treatment options. The multiple types of epilepsy can mean that misdiagnosed epilepsy cases occur.

What causes epilepsy?

In some epilepsy cases there aren’t any known causes of the condition. The brain is a mix of nerve cells, electrical impulses, and neurotransmitter chemicals. Damage to the brain can disrupt how the brain works and cause seizures.

Epilepsy is split into two categories – Idiopathic epilepsy and symptomatic epilepsy.

Idiopathic epilepsy

This is where there is no known cause for epilepsy, although some people may have a family history of the condition. Many people are diagnosed with this type of epilepsy. It’s been suggested that there are genetic causes for the condition developing in some people. But while research is currently being carried out, evidence hasn’t confirmed this yet.

Symptomatic epilepsy

This type of epilepsy is where there is a known cause. While epilepsy overall is more common in children, symptomatic epilepsy is more often seen in adults, particularly those aged over 60. Reasons for symptomatic epilepsy include:

  • Cerebrovascular disease – These are diseases that affect the blood vessels delivering blood to the brain. Strokes and subarachnoid haemorrhage are examples of cerebrovascular diseases that may can cause epilepsy.
  • Brain tumours
  • Severe head injuries
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Brain infections – Infections that affect the brain, such as meningitis, can have an impact on the brain’s function.
  • Birth problems that disrupt the baby’s supply of oxygen
  • Some parts of the brain not developing properly

Triggers

Those that are diagnosed with epilepsy can find that their seizures associated with the condition are brought on by certain circumstances, although this isn’t the case for everyone. Triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Some medication and drugs
  • In women, monthly periods
  • Flashing lights
Read less

What are the symptoms of epilepsy?

The main symptom of epilepsy is common, repeated seizures. However, there are many different types of seizures depending on the area of the brain that is affected and those with the condition may experience more than one type of seizure.

Seizures that are labelled ‘partial’ or ‘focal’ indicate that only a small part of the brain is affected during the seizure, while generalised seizures affect most or all of the brain. Some seizures may also be ‘unclassified’.

There are two main types of focal seizures:

  • Simple partial seizures– This type of seizure can be a sign that another type of seizure is coming. Sufferers remain fully conscious throughout a simple partial seizure and symptoms can include stiffness and twitching in part of the body, tingling sensations, or sudden, intense feelings.
  • Complex partial seizures– According to the NHS the symptoms of this type of seizure normally involve strange and random bodily behaviour, such as smacking your lips, moving your arms around, or picking at clothes. People suffering lose their sense of awareness and can’t remember that a seizure has happened.

There are six main types of generalised seizures:

  • Absences– Absence seizures mainly affect children and cause those affected to lose awareness of their surroundings. Those affected usually appear to be staring vacantly for around 15 seconds. They can occur several times throughout the days and those affected won’t be aware that a seizure has occurred.
  • Myoclonic seizures– Myoclonic seizures cause the arms, legs, or upper body to suddenly jerk and twitch. Typically they will last only a fraction of a second and those affected will remain conscious throughout.
  • Clonic seizures– Clonic seizures are similar to myoclonic seizures but will last longer and loss of consciousness may also occur.
  • Atonic seizures– Atonic seizures are where the muscle suddenly relax. If standing, it can mean those affected fall to the ground and could potentially injure themselves.
  • Tonic seizures– Tonic seizures are the opposite of atonic seizures. Rather than relaxing, the muscles become stiff and can mean that those suffering lose their balance and fall.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures– This is the type of seizure that most people associate with epilepsy. Initially the body becomes stiff and then the legs and arms start to twitch. Usually, tonic-clonic seizures only last for a few minutes but they can last for longer.
Read less

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

Epilepsy is recognised as a condition that is difficult to diagnose. This is because there are many other conditions that have similar symptoms, leading to a delay in epilepsy diagnosis. Those affected will often experience more than one seizure before they receive an accurate diagnosis.

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms, you will typically make an appointment with your doctor. It’s important to describe the symptoms and seizures in as much detail as possible. Sometimes, it is possible for a doctor to make a diagnosis based on the symptoms you have described. In other cases, further testing may be required.

  • EEG– This test will be used to detect unusual brain activity that’s associated with epilepsy.
  • MRI– An MRI scan creates a detailed image of the brain and can be used to identify potential causes of epilepsy.

While both an EEG and MRI scan can be used to achieve a diagnosis, it is possible to have epilepsy even if they don’t return positive results. If your doctor fails to follow-up test results and investigate your symptoms further, it can mean a delayed diagnosis of epilepsy.

While the condition is difficult to diagnose, you should be able to rely on those responsible for your care to take all reasonable steps to achieve a diagnosis. Where you’ve experienced undiagnosed epilepsy that’s the result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose epilepsy compensation claim. A missed epilepsy diagnosis can have a serious impact on those that are living with the condition and compensation can help reflect some of the harm it has caused.

Read less

How is epilepsy treated?

Once you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s often possible to treat the condition. For some people, this can simply be learning what triggers their seizures and avoiding these. There are also anti-epileptic drugs that allow around 70% of people to control their seizures.

Implants that send electrical messages to the brain and a special diet for children that don’t respond to medication are also options.  Depending on the cause of epilepsy and which part of the brain it’s affecting, brain surgery may also be an option. If successful, surgery can potentially completely cure the condition.

In most cases treatment allows that affected by epilepsy to control their symptoms and go about their daily routines as normal. However, where late epilepsy diagnosis has occurred, it can mean that those affected live with seizures longer than they need to. If this has been the result of medical negligence, it may be possible for those affected to make a failure to diagnose claim to reflect the undue suffering experienced.

Read less

What are the complications of misdiagnosed epilepsy?

The seizures associated with epilepsy aren’t the only way the condition can affect a sufferer’s life, there are complications too. In rare cases, the brain can be damaged by seizure activity, affecting parts of the brain that can lead to cognitive and behavioural difficulties.

Misdiagnosed epilepsy can mean that vital treatment for controlling seizures is delayed, increasing the likelihood of complications occurring. If you’ve, experienced doctor misdiagnosed epilepsy, you may be able to make a claim if medical negligence was to blame.

Read less

What conditions can epilepsy be misdiagnosed as?

Epilepsy symptoms can mimic other conditions, resulting in epilepsy misdiagnosis. Wrong epilepsy diagnosis can mean a delay in treatment being delivered, having a serious effect on daily routines and increasing the risk of complications happening.

Having a seizure doesn’t automatically mean that a person has epilepsy. There are other conditions that can be mistaken for the condition and vice versa, leading to a delay in diagnosis of epilepsy. Wrong epilepsy diagnosis can occur, if your symptoms are linked to one of the following conditions:

  • Panic attacks
  • Non-epileptic seizure disorder
  • Febrile seizures
  • Mental health disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Migraines
  • Brain injury
Read less

How often is epilepsy misdiagnosed?

There aren’t any official epilepsy misdiagnosis statistics. However, previous research has shown how easy it is for a misdiagnosis to occur. It’s estimated that more than 90,000 people in England and Wales are wrongly given a diagnosis of epilepsy, with the condition being mistaken for others with similar symptoms.

While most patients in the UK are diagnosed and treated quickly when they’re suffering from epilepsy, there are cases of epilepsy misdiagnosis. Among misdiagnosed epilepsy stories is:

A woman easy she was anxious and suffering from panic attacks for seven years before doctors realised she was suffering from epileptic seizures. 

Read less

What are the statistics on epilepsy?

According to Epilepsy Action, there are around 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy and every day 87 new people are diagnosed with the disease. There are more than 40 types of seizures and some people can experience more than one type. During their lifetime around 5 in every 100 people will have an epileptic seizure and out of these four will develop epilepsy.

 

Only around 53% of people with epilepsy in the UK are seizure free. However, it’s estimated that 70% could be seizure free with the right treatment, highlighting the importance of effective treatment.

Read less

Who is at risk of epilepsy?

It is important for a GP or doctor to take into account if the patient has the following:

  • A family history of epilepsy
  • A genetic condition known to be associated with epilepsy, such as childhood epilepsy syndrome
  • Childhood febrile seizures - convulsions brought on by a fever in infants or small children. Between 2–7% of children with febrile seizures will go on to develop epilepsy.
  • Previous infections affecting the brain or conditions such as a cerebral tumour
  • A brain trauma, especially a penetrating brain injury or surgery.

If you have been affected by medical negligence you may be able to make a claim against those responsible. Successful epilepsy misdiagnosis claims must demonstrate both that medical negligence was to blame for the delay in diagnosis and that it caused undue suffering.

Showing that your suffering was the result of medical negligence can take a variety of forms depending on your personal circumstances. For instance, it could show:

That you presented the symptoms of epilepsy to your doctor but they were not followed up

  • That further testing, such as an MRI or EEG, was inconclusive but symptoms were not further investigated
  • That abnormalities in test results were not followed up

That there was an unnecessary delay in receiving tests that were required

Epilepsy misdiagnosis compensation claims can help you reflect how you’ve been affected by medical negligence and support you with moving forward.

Read less

Epilepsy often develops during childhood and can be distressing for the whole family, especially if misdiagnosis has occurred. It is possible for parents to make epilepsy misdiagnosis claims if their child has been affected. You will still need to follow the usual processes, such as acting within three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ and building a case that proves medical negligence was to blame. If you would like to make a claim as a parent, our epilepsy misdiagnosis lawyers are on hand.

Each epilepsy misdiagnosis malpractice claim is different and this is reflected in the compensation that claimants are awarded. Misdiagnosis of epilepsy compensation takes a range of factors into consideration and as a result it’s not possible to state how much compensation you could receive without first listening to your experiences.

If you want to take your claim forward, our expert team are on hand to offer you advice. Using their knowledge from supporting those affected by medical negligence, they will be able to tell you how much epilepsy misdiagnosis compensation you could receive. We will work with you to place a value on your claim that accurately reflects how you’ve been affected, from undue suffering to having to take extended time off work due to GP misdiagnosis of epilepsy.

Read less

Epilepsy misdiagnosis cases that are the result of medical negligence have up to three years to be brought forward. If you would like to make a claim, we can help you.

You have three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ to make a claim and we understand that sometimes it can be difficult to identify this starting point. Misdiagnosis of epilepsy can be complex but we can use our skills to unravel the details and find the point that you first realised when you had been let down, legally referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’.

While you do have up to three years to make your claim, we recommend that you act sooner. Taking swift action can make it easier to build your case, which will include gathering documents, such as medical records, and witness statements to support your case. We know that it can be a daunting process. But with Your Legal Friend by your side, we can make your misdiagnosed epilepsy lawsuit as smooth and stress free as possible.

Read less

Abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes an interruption and temporary change to brain signals. This causes sudden, repeated seizures and convulsions, and can lead to a loss of consciousness.

Defining epilepsy by seizure episodes

Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that can be defined by one of the following:

  • At least two unprovoked seizures occurring more than 24 hours apart.
  • One unprovoked seizure and a probability of further seizures occurring over the following 10 years.

Basic types of epileptic seizures

There are more than 40 types of seizures, which may be experienced and divided into two groups:

Partial seizures: one part of the brain experiences disturbances - includes jerking movements beginning in the face or hand and spreading to the limbs.

Generalised seizures: the entire brain is affected by disturbances including:

  • ‘impairment of consciousness’ and becoming rigid
  • jerking with ‘impairment of consciousness’
  • fixed staring for a few seconds
  • a brief contraction of the limbs
  • a brief loss of muscle tone associated with falls.

Prior to complex partial seizures, unexpected tastes or smells may be experienced.

A continuous seizure or recurrent seizures without regaining consciousness can last for 30 minutes or longer.

Following a seizure, residual symptoms such as drowsiness, amnesia, or headaches may be experienced.

Read less

Yes. There are several different types of epilepsy and these can have different causes, symptoms, and treatment options. The multiple types of epilepsy can mean that misdiagnosed epilepsy cases occur.

In some epilepsy cases there aren’t any known causes of the condition. The brain is a mix of nerve cells, electrical impulses, and neurotransmitter chemicals. Damage to the brain can disrupt how the brain works and cause seizures.

Epilepsy is split into two categories – Idiopathic epilepsy and symptomatic epilepsy.

Idiopathic epilepsy

This is where there is no known cause for epilepsy, although some people may have a family history of the condition. Many people are diagnosed with this type of epilepsy. It’s been suggested that there are genetic causes for the condition developing in some people. But while research is currently being carried out, evidence hasn’t confirmed this yet.

Symptomatic epilepsy

This type of epilepsy is where there is a known cause. While epilepsy overall is more common in children, symptomatic epilepsy is more often seen in adults, particularly those aged over 60. Reasons for symptomatic epilepsy include:

  • Cerebrovascular disease – These are diseases that affect the blood vessels delivering blood to the brain. Strokes and subarachnoid haemorrhage are examples of cerebrovascular diseases that may can cause epilepsy.
  • Brain tumours
  • Severe head injuries
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Brain infections – Infections that affect the brain, such as meningitis, can have an impact on the brain’s function.
  • Birth problems that disrupt the baby’s supply of oxygen
  • Some parts of the brain not developing properly

Triggers

Those that are diagnosed with epilepsy can find that their seizures associated with the condition are brought on by certain circumstances, although this isn’t the case for everyone. Triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Some medication and drugs
  • In women, monthly periods
  • Flashing lights
Read less

The main symptom of epilepsy is common, repeated seizures. However, there are many different types of seizures depending on the area of the brain that is affected and those with the condition may experience more than one type of seizure.

Seizures that are labelled ‘partial’ or ‘focal’ indicate that only a small part of the brain is affected during the seizure, while generalised seizures affect most or all of the brain. Some seizures may also be ‘unclassified’.

There are two main types of focal seizures:

  • Simple partial seizures– This type of seizure can be a sign that another type of seizure is coming. Sufferers remain fully conscious throughout a simple partial seizure and symptoms can include stiffness and twitching in part of the body, tingling sensations, or sudden, intense feelings.
  • Complex partial seizures– According to the NHS the symptoms of this type of seizure normally involve strange and random bodily behaviour, such as smacking your lips, moving your arms around, or picking at clothes. People suffering lose their sense of awareness and can’t remember that a seizure has happened.

There are six main types of generalised seizures:

  • Absences– Absence seizures mainly affect children and cause those affected to lose awareness of their surroundings. Those affected usually appear to be staring vacantly for around 15 seconds. They can occur several times throughout the days and those affected won’t be aware that a seizure has occurred.
  • Myoclonic seizures– Myoclonic seizures cause the arms, legs, or upper body to suddenly jerk and twitch. Typically they will last only a fraction of a second and those affected will remain conscious throughout.
  • Clonic seizures– Clonic seizures are similar to myoclonic seizures but will last longer and loss of consciousness may also occur.
  • Atonic seizures– Atonic seizures are where the muscle suddenly relax. If standing, it can mean those affected fall to the ground and could potentially injure themselves.
  • Tonic seizures– Tonic seizures are the opposite of atonic seizures. Rather than relaxing, the muscles become stiff and can mean that those suffering lose their balance and fall.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures– This is the type of seizure that most people associate with epilepsy. Initially the body becomes stiff and then the legs and arms start to twitch. Usually, tonic-clonic seizures only last for a few minutes but they can last for longer.
Read less

Epilepsy is recognised as a condition that is difficult to diagnose. This is because there are many other conditions that have similar symptoms, leading to a delay in epilepsy diagnosis. Those affected will often experience more than one seizure before they receive an accurate diagnosis.

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms, you will typically make an appointment with your doctor. It’s important to describe the symptoms and seizures in as much detail as possible. Sometimes, it is possible for a doctor to make a diagnosis based on the symptoms you have described. In other cases, further testing may be required.

  • EEG– This test will be used to detect unusual brain activity that’s associated with epilepsy.
  • MRI– An MRI scan creates a detailed image of the brain and can be used to identify potential causes of epilepsy.

While both an EEG and MRI scan can be used to achieve a diagnosis, it is possible to have epilepsy even if they don’t return positive results. If your doctor fails to follow-up test results and investigate your symptoms further, it can mean a delayed diagnosis of epilepsy.

While the condition is difficult to diagnose, you should be able to rely on those responsible for your care to take all reasonable steps to achieve a diagnosis. Where you’ve experienced undiagnosed epilepsy that’s the result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose epilepsy compensation claim. A missed epilepsy diagnosis can have a serious impact on those that are living with the condition and compensation can help reflect some of the harm it has caused.

Read less

Once you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s often possible to treat the condition. For some people, this can simply be learning what triggers their seizures and avoiding these. There are also anti-epileptic drugs that allow around 70% of people to control their seizures.

Implants that send electrical messages to the brain and a special diet for children that don’t respond to medication are also options.  Depending on the cause of epilepsy and which part of the brain it’s affecting, brain surgery may also be an option. If successful, surgery can potentially completely cure the condition.

In most cases treatment allows that affected by epilepsy to control their symptoms and go about their daily routines as normal. However, where late epilepsy diagnosis has occurred, it can mean that those affected live with seizures longer than they need to. If this has been the result of medical negligence, it may be possible for those affected to make a failure to diagnose claim to reflect the undue suffering experienced.

Read less

The seizures associated with epilepsy aren’t the only way the condition can affect a sufferer’s life, there are complications too. In rare cases, the brain can be damaged by seizure activity, affecting parts of the brain that can lead to cognitive and behavioural difficulties.

Misdiagnosed epilepsy can mean that vital treatment for controlling seizures is delayed, increasing the likelihood of complications occurring. If you’ve, experienced doctor misdiagnosed epilepsy, you may be able to make a claim if medical negligence was to blame.

Read less

Epilepsy symptoms can mimic other conditions, resulting in epilepsy misdiagnosis. Wrong epilepsy diagnosis can mean a delay in treatment being delivered, having a serious effect on daily routines and increasing the risk of complications happening.

Having a seizure doesn’t automatically mean that a person has epilepsy. There are other conditions that can be mistaken for the condition and vice versa, leading to a delay in diagnosis of epilepsy. Wrong epilepsy diagnosis can occur, if your symptoms are linked to one of the following conditions:

  • Panic attacks
  • Non-epileptic seizure disorder
  • Febrile seizures
  • Mental health disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Migraines
  • Brain injury
Read less

There aren’t any official epilepsy misdiagnosis statistics. However, previous research has shown how easy it is for a misdiagnosis to occur. It’s estimated that more than 90,000 people in England and Wales are wrongly given a diagnosis of epilepsy, with the condition being mistaken for others with similar symptoms.

While most patients in the UK are diagnosed and treated quickly when they’re suffering from epilepsy, there are cases of epilepsy misdiagnosis. Among misdiagnosed epilepsy stories is:

A woman easy she was anxious and suffering from panic attacks for seven years before doctors realised she was suffering from epileptic seizures. 

Read less

According to Epilepsy Action, there are around 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy and every day 87 new people are diagnosed with the disease. There are more than 40 types of seizures and some people can experience more than one type. During their lifetime around 5 in every 100 people will have an epileptic seizure and out of these four will develop epilepsy.

 

Only around 53% of people with epilepsy in the UK are seizure free. However, it’s estimated that 70% could be seizure free with the right treatment, highlighting the importance of effective treatment.

Read less

It is important for a GP or doctor to take into account if the patient has the following:

  • A family history of epilepsy
  • A genetic condition known to be associated with epilepsy, such as childhood epilepsy syndrome
  • Childhood febrile seizures - convulsions brought on by a fever in infants or small children. Between 2–7% of children with febrile seizures will go on to develop epilepsy.
  • Previous infections affecting the brain or conditions such as a cerebral tumour
  • A brain trauma, especially a penetrating brain injury or surgery.