Advising with empathy and experience

Compensation follows tragic death from sinusitis.

A young dancer was killed by a common infection that caused a brain abscess after he was twice turned away from an accident and emergency department in Wales.

Jason Langton, 20, who had sinusitis - a common condition in which the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed - was sent home from Wrexham Maelor Hospital days before dying in 2010.

Mr Langton first visited his GP suffering from sinusitis in April 2010. He was repeatedly prescribed nasal spray and antibiotics but they had no effect.

In the weeks before his death, he suffered severe headaches, was frequently sick and lost weight. On 8 November, he was in so much pain hat his sister called an ambulance and he was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital with an irregular heartbeat.

However, he was later discharged, and his condition worsened. Doctors told Mr Langton to return to his GP if he did not feel better and he did on 11 November. After examining him, the doctor told him to return for an urgent review if he did not improve after the weekend.

On 13 November Mr Langton was found collapsed on his bedroom floor. He was rushed back to Wrexham Maelor and given antibiotics, but no X-rays or a brain scan.

Mr Langton's family claimed that, if he had been scanned, doctors would have discovered his brain abscess and could have drained it, giving him a better chance of recovery.

But he was sent home in a wheelchair and went to bed at 10pm. Next morning his partner found he had turned blue and stopped breathing.

After again being taken to hospital, scans revealed a 6cm by 4cm (2in by 1.5in) abscess on the right frontal lobe of his brain. He was then transferred to intensive care but died later that day.

Jason’s mother, Mrs Jane Langton, said she could not forgive herself for failing to force doctors to admit him to hospital. "We should have realised earlier that something was seriously wrong. Jason lost a stone in weight, his face was gaunt and he looked like someone from a prisoner of war camp."

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board admitted liability for Mr Langton's death and awarded his family a five-figure settlement. A spokesman said: ""The health board learned from this sad experience and changes were made to prevent a similar situation arising in the future.”