Friday, August 07, 2009

Missing Possible Meningitis in a Flaky/Dodgy Swine Flu System

From The Guardian:

Girl, two, dies after swine flu misdiagnosis
Child with possible meningitis was 'failed by system' say parents
Jo Adetunji
Saturday 8 August 2009 01.08 BST


The parents of a two-year-old girl thought to have died from meningitis after they were told she was suffering from swine flu said yesterday that she had been "failed by the system".

Georgia Keeling, from Norwich, died after being rushed to hospital on Tuesday. Her parents, Paul Sewell, 21, and Tasha Keeling, 22, said they contacted health services, including NHS Direct, the swine flu helpline and the emergency services, five times after their daughter first developed a temperature on Saturday.

The couple said that by Tuesday she had also developed a rash, bruising and had been sick, but their concerns that she might have meningitis were ignored.

They said that on two occasions they were told Georgia did not need to be admitted to hospital and after one 999 call, a paramedic arrived with Tamiflu and paracetamol. It was only after another 999 call an hour later, when her eyes had glazed over, that she was taken to hospital. Georgia suffered a heart attack and attempts to resuscitate her failed.

Speaking to a local paper, Sewell said: "I don't feel like the paramedics did their job properly. She wasn't given a chance, they had diagnosed her before even looking at her and came out ready to give her Tamiflu. She was failed by the system big time. I just want to know how come they didn't take her into hospital straight away."


The child's death comes just a few weeks after a warning from The Meningitis Trust against mistaking the symptoms of meningitis for swine flu. Several, including fever, muscle pain and headaches, are common to both conditions and several health charities have expressed concern that doctors and health professionals could miss them.

Read the full article

Read The Meningitis Trust press release (20 July 2009)

And, with this is mind also today, read this headline from The Mail: "Swine flu hotline run by 16-year-olds: NHS pays GCSE pupils to give advice and hand out drugs" Read article

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