Doctors missed meningitis in baby
Brain scan may have diagnosed deadly disease
SAMUEL Smith’s parents say they are considering pursuing a formal complaint against East Kent Hospitals Trust.
The six-month-old baby died at home on September 23 last year. He had been treated in hospital at the end of August.
Doctors at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford had sent Samuel to Margate’s Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital, because there was no suitable cubicle available.
The medics indicated that he could have meningitis, and attached a memo suggesting that a cranial scan might be carried out.
Speaking at the inquest, Dr Mohsin Malik, a consultant paediatrician at the QEQM, said he was not shown this memo, and no scan took place.
Samuel appeared to be getting better on a course of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, and was discharged from hospital on August 31. He died three weeks later.
Both Dr Malik and Dr Irene Scheimberg, who carried out the post mortem, told the coroner a scan might have helped diagnose meningitis.
Samuel’s father Matthew Smith said: “We are looking at the official complaints procedure. In my eyes, if they had looked at that memo, they would have done those tests.
“It’s not compensation we want. Nothing will ever bring him back.
“If you go to the doctor, you trust the doctor’s judgement, and if you go to the hospital you trust them. We trusted them with our child.”
East Kent NHS Hospitals Trust this week said it offered its sincere condolences to the couple.
In a statement the trust added: “Samuel’s blood was tested for meningitis when he attended Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, however the tests came back negative. His symptoms at the time were consistent with viral gastroenteritis.”
Matthew and Pauline Smith, who lost their son Samuel