Brain scan delay meant fatal virus was missed by doctors

10th May 2011

A young woman who was rushed to hospital after collapsing in the park died after doctors delayed a brain scan which could have picked up a fatal virus.

Jane Harrop had been suffering violent headaches for several months, but doctors had dismissed them as symptoms of depression and sent her off with a prescription for medication, the Birmingham Mail reported.

She was rushed to hospital by her parents when she collapsed last year, but a brain scan was delayed as she felt claustrophobic in the scanner and they had no way to sedate her, a coroners court heard.

It was only after she died – eight days after being admitted to hospital – that it was discovered she had been suffering with a rare and terrible brain virus.

The virus, which was called sub-acute meningo-myeloencephalitis, is caused by problems in the immune system. It is listed as a rare disease by the Office of Rare Diseases, meaning it affects less than 200,000 people in the US.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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