Hospital records altered after 21-year-old man sent home with incorrect flu diagnosis dies of meningitis

Tim Mason, who had flu-like symptoms, was sent home from Tunbridge Wells Hospital's A&E department in March 2018 after he was told that he had gastroenteritis


                            Hospital records altered after 21-year-old man sent home with incorrect flu diagnosis dies of meningitis

A 21-year-old man from Tunbridge Wells, UK, died of meningitis after the hospital he was admitted at misdiagnosed him with stomach flu. Latest reports state that the hospital records of the young man's condition were altered shortly after his death.

Tim Mason, who had flu-like symptoms, was sent home from Tunbridge Wells Hospital's A&E department in March 2018 after he was told that he had gastroenteritis. However, within hours the 21-year-old was rushed back to the hospital where he later died from a cardiac arrest, according to the Mirror.

An inquest on Monday heard that a probe into the young trainee electrical engineer's death revealed that the hospital's A&E department had failed to diagnose his sepsis and that a third party later altered his hospital records.



 

Tim's parents have called for further investigation into the case and have told health officials on an NHS trust board that the hospital's failures have aggravated their grief of losing their son.

Tunbridge Wells Hospital, in turn, has admitted liability for the 21-year-old's death, according to reports. David Highton, chair of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust board, told the Masons: "Please be assured myself and other members of the board will pick up all the points you have. Trusts have a duty of candour to relatives. We clearly took too long to display that. My apologies that happened and lengthened the pain and suffering you went through."

The youngster's mother, Fiona Mason, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent said that her last words to her son were lies, which broke her heart. "All we could do was reassure him and promise him we would all be waiting by his side when he woke up, even though we knew it was a lie," Fiona said.



 

While Tim's father, Gavin Mason, while addressing the NHS board said: "This tampering merits further investigation. Tim's death was an avoidable tragedy. Systematic failures one after another continued after his death. We were told there would be a post mortem and the hospital would let us know about that, but that contact never came."

Reports state that it was only when Gavin contacted the coroner directly, it was revealed that no post mortem examination would be carried out to decipher the exact circumstances of Tim's death.

"He also got to know that the hospital had accepted his cause of death as meningococcal sepsis. The youngster's father added that it was seven months of "emotional hell" until the hospital admitted liability.

Tim's mother said: "We believe those who learn from mistakes and look to improve will become better medics than those who cling to pathways without learning their ineffectiveness. We also offer to help the trust in whatever capacity we can."