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Boy who died from meningitis 'would have survived' with earlier diagnosis, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 17:21 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 04 June 2019

The inquest into Oliver Hall's death began today. Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

The inquest into Oliver Hall's death began today. Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

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A six-year-old boy who died from meningitis could have been saved if he had been taken to hospital sooner, an inquest has heard.

Oliver Hall in hospital fighting for his life, just four and a half hours before he died Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLOliver Hall in hospital fighting for his life, just four and a half hours before he died Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

Ollie Hall, from Halesworth, died at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) on October 24, 2017 after suddenly contracting what doctors determined was meningococcal septicaemia.

A the start of a five-day inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court into his death, an upset Georgie Hall - Ollie's mother - described how she and her husband had quickly become aware that Ollie was unwell the day before.

The youngster had a high temperature and had asked to lie down in a dark room after becoming sensitive to light.

After initial treatment with calpol failed to deal with Ollie's temperature, Mrs Hall decided to call the NHS 111 helpline, with call handlers sending out an ambulance to meet the family.

The six-year-old lost his short battle with the illness hours after being admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLThe six-year-old lost his short battle with the illness hours after being admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

Paramedics decided not to send the boy to hospital, despite his family raising concerns of meningitis, and instead took him to see GPs at the nearby Cutlers Hill Surgery.

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"I was made to feel that I was wasting their time," Mrs Hall claimed.

GPs at the surgery assessed Ollie and decided he was well enough to be sent home.

Hours later Ollie's parents took him back to the surgery after his condition deteriorated further.

GPs phoned for an ambulance but with none available, the couple drove their son 45mins to the JPUH, eventually arriving at around 8pm.

Doctors at the hospital confirmed a diagnosis of meningococcal septicaemia but Ollie died a few hours later.

The inquest heard from expert witness Professor Nigel Klein, professor of infectious disease at University College London and a paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Prof Klein told the inquest that he agreed with the diagnosis given to Ollie at the hospital and said that if the youngster had been taken in earlier, he would have survived - even with complications.

"I think if Ollie had been taken to hospital and if doctors seeing Ollie had made a diagnosis that he had meningococcal septicaemia and he had been given penicillin and he had had the facilities to make sure he had the right fluids, he would have survived."

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