27 Jun 2013

DHB pays out family over meningitis death

8:58 pm on 27 June 2013

The family of a man who died of meningitis after delays in treating him has received a payment from the Auckland District Health Board for losses suffered.

Zachary Gravatt, a 22-year-old medical student, died in 2009 after his meningitis was not diagnosed for four hours at Auckland City Hospital.

A coroner's inquest found shortcomings in the care of Mr Gravatt. They include delays in treating him, in considering the diagnosis of meningococcal disease and in referring him to the Department of Critical Care Medicine.

The Auckland DHB said on Thursday it accepts that aspects of Mr Gravatt's treatment represented substandard care and acknowledges that with different treatment he may have survived. However, the DHB said its shortcomings did not cause his death.

It has made an ex-gratia payment to Zachary's father Lance Gravatt and his family, saying the losses the family suffered and the payment are private matters.

Dr Gravatt said his son wasn't given a chance. "He was a very strong, fit, healthy man and if he had (different treatment), we believe more than likely he would have lived. And that was certainly the decision that the ACC review board came to."