A medical debate surrounding the diagnosis of a certain type of brain damage has come to the surface. Commentators in the medical field say that some medical professionals have been diagnosing thousands of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) instead of post-traumatic hypopituitarism (PTHP) which is often caused following a head injury.
The reason for the misdiagnosis is the presentation of very similar symptoms in both conditions. Many people have been given treatment prescribed according to CFS when in actual fact, they are suffering from PTHP and the treatment has proved ineffectual and disappointing to patients.
Many head injury patients also suffer from damage to the pituitary gland which is located below the brain. If the gland doesn’t work properly it can produce symptoms of CFS. Blood tests are able to determine the difference between the two conditions and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence was considering the inclusion of guidance given to those dealing with head injury sufferers. This would have meant that head injury patients would have been warned that future symptoms could take decades to emerge and could be similar to CFS. These include obesity, fatigue and high blood pressure. Contrary to the suggestions there was no inclusion of it in the recently published recommendations.
Leading expert on brain injury, Christopher Thompson, said there is overwhelming evidence that hypopituitarism happens in 30% of people who have suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He said: “…….the failure to make the right diagnosis after such injury means patients miss out on essential treatment. That it’s not included in the NICE guidelines [for treatment of head injury] is nonsensical.’
If you or a family member has suffered a brain injury through no fault of your own then you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. Brain injuries can lead to life-changing consequences and can affect you and your family greatly. If you would like to know more about whether or not you can claim then please speak to one of Jefferies no win, no fee solicitors on 0800 342 3206 or complete one of our online claim forms.
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Published 13th February 2015.