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6 year old may have survived if diagnosed quicker

6 year old may have survived if diagnosed quicker

An Inquest into the death of 6 year old Oliver Hall heard he may have survived had he been diagnosed earlier.

Meningitis B was like a car ‘going so fast’

An expert in infectious disease and immunology, Professor Nigel Klein said that he believes Oliver ‘would have survived without a problem’ if he had received a quicker diagnosis and started treatment.

By the time he was diagnosed, Professor Klein says, “"the car was already going so fast, I don't think anything would have put the brakes on".

GP appointment not for 6 hours

On falling ill with a headache, sore jaw and high temperature, Oliver’s mother called her GP surgery. At 9.50 am she was told he couldn’t be seen until 3.50pm.

111 call made

When Oliver became sensitive to light and a rash appeared, she called 111. An ambulance came with two paramedics.

The paramedics didn’t think Oliver had meningitis. They rolled a glass over the rash to see if rash disappeared.

The GPs that saw him at his appointment also disregarded meningitis.

He was sent home.

Rushed to hospital

When he further deteriorated, his family drove him to hospital which was 45 minutes away. No ambulance was available.

Oliver died the next morning.

Felt like we were ‘wasting the doctors’ time’

Oliver’s mother says that she felt they were rushed out of the GP surgery. She was made to feel like she was wasting the doctors’ time.

She also thinks that the rashes were not checked thoroughly enough.

Melanie Lidstone-Land, medical negligence lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors says,

“This is such a tragic death. A young boy could have still been with his family if one of the medical professionals had seriously considered meningitis. No one symptom should be considered in isolation.  And the rash test should not be relied on by itself. The fact that Oliver appeared to have a combination of red flag symptoms, suggests to me that he should have been referred to hospital much sooner.

As Professor Klein comments, the outcome could have been so very different for this family.”

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