Hospital treated teenage girl as “collateral damage”
Posted: September 18, 2013
Posted in: Medical Negligence
After 15-year-old Amie Miller died in 2008 due to numerous hospital failings, her parents said that Basildon Hospital treated her like she was purely “collateral damage”. Having complained frequently of headaches at school, (Grays Convent High School in Thurrock, Essex) she was taken to Basildon Hospital and died only three days later.
An inquest heard that the hospital had countless opportunities to save her life and a jury ruled that hospital staff failed to carry out basic checks on her welfare, failed to administer the correct treatment, and failed to communicate with one another about her condition.
“On the mend”
It was found that Amie’s death was caused by an inflammation of the brain, a condition called encephalitis. Her flu-like symptoms caused doctors to assume that she would shortly be “on the mend”, while actually they failed to recognise her severe deterioration in health. Dr Michel Sun Wai told the inquest: “I didn’t worry too much about Amie because I believed her to be a young girl getting better.”
Amie’s life could have been easily saved had the hospital carried out an MRI scan and if they had correctly interpreted her CT scan results. Other hospital failings included a lack of basic neurological checks and their decision to carry out a lumber puncture, which may have only worsened her condition.
Basildon Hospital is one of the fourteen hospitals currently under special measures following the Keogh report; it was also fined £100,000 last month after two patients died from a legionella outbreak.
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