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Friday, 30 January 2009

A mother died from a brain swelling after her condition was missed four times by a hospital's doctors, her family has alleged.

Mother-of-two dies of brain swelling after doctors miss signs four times
article in the Telegraph


"Louise Sharp, 27, a nursery nurse, was told two weeks before she died that her illness was due to depression, they claimed.

The family said a sequence of "oversights" at Mayday Hospital, Croydon, South London, led to the death of Miss Sharp, the mother of two children, Megan, seven, and Jack, five.

Miss Sharp, who died on Dec 31, visited the hospital four times in the previous five weeks, complaining of severe vomiting, severe headaches, loss of appetite, and increasing immobility.

Her health had declined and she was losing weight and was unable to look after her children, to whom she was devoted, her family said.

Her father, Phillip Sharp, 54, a gardener, who has made an official complaint to the hospital, and his wife Kathryn, a department store stock supervisor, said their daughter was sent home with suspected flu on Nov 28. A week later she was given painkillers for a migraine, Mr Sharp added.

"She went back three days later, and kept her in for five days to rule out meningitis," he said. On Dec 14 she was told she was suffering from depression.

Mr Sharp said: "I am staggered they failed to spot something more serious."

It is clearly folly to attribute 'severe vomiting' - a serious physical symptom, to 'depression' - a weasel word for a putative non-physical illness. Physical symptoms should be investigated for their physical cause.

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