DOCTOR STRUCK OFF FOR HIS LIES ABOUT TRAGIC GIRL
PARENTS OF MENINGITIS GIRL SPEAK OUT AS DOCTOR IS STRUCK OFF
MISDIAGNOSED SIX-YEAR-OLD WHO DIED FROM MENINGITIS
A DOCTOR has been struck off for lying after misdiagnosing a six-yearold girl who later died from meningitis.
Layla-Rose Ermenekli, from Oldham, was taken to hospital by her mother in February 2017, with a high temperature, a headache and stomach ache.
The doctor wanted to send her back home and dismissed a rash as ‘bruises.’
After spending eight hours at The Royal Oldham Hospital, Layla-Rose went into cardiac arrest and died from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.
A report carried out by the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust criticised doctors, saying that LaylaRose’s mother’s concerns were not listened to – and that there were two missed opportunities to recognise the rash.
Now Dr Harsha Rajanna has been struck off the medical register at a General Medical Council hearing in Manchester.
More than 20 mistakes and dishonest statements were proven against him.
The hearing was told how Dr Rajanna had failed to consider sepsis; failed to take blood tests; and failed to give fluids.
He then lied about his failings.
Layla-Rose’s mum Kirsty, 34, said the doctor ‘didn’t listen’ to her concerns.
Kirsty was heavily pregnant with her fourth child when Layla-Rose fell ill in February 2017.
Her son had been ill with tonsillitis, so she thought Layla-Rose had the same bug. But when the child’s temperature rose, she took her to hospital to be on the ‘safe side.’ Layla-Rose was complaining of stomach and head pain and began vomiting in the hospital.
A doctor advised Kirsty to take her home, an inquest previously heard. “I told them I wasn’t happy about taking her home because Layla seemed so unwell,” Kirsty said. The little girl was then seen by a paediatrician who found a red patch on Layla’s hip. “I told him it wasn’t a bruise and it had just come out of nowhere. But he said it was a bruise,” Kirsty added. “They started to spread – and I went into panic.” Layla-Rose began struggling to breathe and was moved onto the High Dependency Unit, where she was given antibiotics. She had been in hospital for six hours. Layla-Rose stopped breathing and died at 4am on February 4, 2017.
Layla-Rose was Kirsty and husband Ricky’s second eldest child.
Kirsty named her son Laylen, in memory of the big sister he will never know. He was born just three months after she died.
In the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust report, a number of failings were identified.
Layla-Rose should have seen a doctor within 10 minutes of her initial triage at the hospital - she didn’t see one for an hour and 50 minutes.
A rash on Layla-Rose’s body was dismissed as a bruise and wasn’t written down in her notes, the trust report said.
After another wait, Layla-Rose was assessed by a junior doctor, who picked up on the rash on her hip, but was told by the previous doctor it was just a bruise and not a new symptom.
Then, 30 minutes later, another locum doctor noted the rash, inserted a cannula, took bloods and administered antibiotics for sepsis.
The report read: “The doctor who saw the patient initially did not recognise the rash, which was not documented at the time as being of a worrying nature, as a result the diagnosis of sepsis was missed for three and a half hours, during which treatment opportunities were missed.
“A second opportunity to spot any rashes was missed when the rash was noted prior to transfer and escalated, false re-assurance was given that this was not a new finding so no action was taken.”
There was a ‘failure to identify the advanced nature of the sepsis and treat accordingly,’ as well as a ‘failure to recognise a ‘bruise’ as a purpuric rash and therefore as an indicator of meningococcal sepsis, the report said. It also stated that Kirsty’s concerns were not listened to.
She said: “I am pleased that the doctor who saw Layla has been struck off, I have been fighting for justice for her for so long and he will not be able to make the same mistakes with another child, which is a comfort to me.
“But he lost his job, and we have lost our daughter. How is that fair?”
Kirsty is now campaigning for Layla’s Law – to make meningitis vaccinations available to all children.
She also fundraises for the charity Meningitis Now.
Staff at The Royal Oldham are now sent a patient alert asking to consider sepsis when diagnosing unwell children.
An inquest in March 2018 recorded a narrative conclusion and found that Layla-Rose’s death could have been avoided, but for failings in hospital care.
I am pleased that the doctor who saw Layla has been struck off, I have been fighting for justice
Layla-Rose and parents Kirsty and Ricky
Struck off... Dr Harsha Rajanna