Girl, six, died after doctor 'failed to spot meningitis'

Girl, six, died after doctor 'failed to spot meningitis'

  • 7 March 2018
Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Layla was not seen by a doctor for an hour and 50 minutes

A six-year-old girl died after a doctor missed a "classic indicator" that she had meningitis, an inquest heard.

Layla Rose Ermenekli was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital with a high temperature, leg and stomach pains and a tell-tale rash on her hip, and died eight hours later.

Dr Harsha Rajanna said he asked her mother Kirsty about the hip mark and was told she bumped into a table.

Mrs Ermenekli said the exchange never happened.

The hearing was told that Layla, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was a lively girl who loved playing with her friends and dancing. She became ill in February last year and was taken to the hospital's accident and emergency department.

She was triaged as "priority two" at 20:55 GMT and should have been seen by a doctor within 10 minutes, but Dr Rajanna did not see her until 22:50 GMT.

Mrs Ermenekli told the inquest he said Layla could go home and she felt pressured to take her.

Image caption Dr Harsha Rajanna said he was told Layla bumped into a table

A nurse called in junior doctor Imogen Buck who saw the non-blanching rash - a "classic indicator" of meningitis.

Layla was transferred to a high dependency unit but died of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia hours later.

Dr Rajanna told the inquest he noticed Layla's hip mark and thought it was a bruise, but made no note of it.

When asked why, he said Mrs Ermenekli had told him the child had bumped into a table, which she denies.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Layla was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital after becoming ill

He said she wanted to take Layla home but he recommended she be seen by the paediatric team.

A lawyer representing Layla's family said: "Either your recollection is wrong or you are giving dishonest evidence to this court."

The coroner asked Dr Buck why she did not challenge Dr Rajanna after Layla died and she said felt it "wasn't appropriate".

The health trust has already apologised to the family for the quality of care received.

The hearing continues.