Tragic schoolgirl dies days after doctors send her home with paracetamol

July 21, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A frightened schoolgirl suffered multiple organ failure and FOUR heart attacks just days after doctors sent her home with paracetamol and told her to take ‘plenty of rest’, an inquest heard.

Tragic Amy Carter, 15, begged doctors not to discharge her, telling them ”I’m dying” but medics assured her she would be fine.

But two days later on Christmas Eve, Amy – who had not been able to eat for 19 DAYS and weighed just six stone – was rushed into hospital and died hours later.

An inquest heard the pretty teenager had developed a lethal combination of conditions never before seen in a patient.

A post mortem revealed Amy, from Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs., died from glandular fever and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Amy’s devastated parents Richard, 43, and Jacqueline, 48, accused the doctors of neglecting their daughter.

Jacqueline told the inquest: ”I can’t express myself properly to emphasise how poorly she was. She wasn’t well enough to go home.

”If they [the doctors] had stood there and watched her properly they would have told she was poorly but no one spent any time with her.

”Is a child who has not eaten for weeks well enough to go home?”

But Dr Andrew Short, Clinical Director at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, said Amy’s condition was ”unique” and nothing would have saved her.

He told the hearing at Stourport-on-Severn Coroners Court on Tuesday: ”This tragic outcome could not have been foreseen.

”There is no medical journal or record of anyone with glandular fever and streptococcal toxic shock. Miss Carter’s condition was unique.”

Amy fell ill at the beginning of last December suffering flu-like symptoms.

Her parents, who both run pet shops, took her to an out-of-hours medical unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

An on-call doctor diagnosed sinusitis and prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics and sent Amy home.

Days later he face swelled up so much that she couldn’t open her left eye and Amy was taken to her local GP who gave her antihistamines.

But over the next few days her health deteriorated and she developed thrush on her tongue.

On December 19 she was rushed to hospital after collapsing at home and doctors diagnosed glandular fever which was backed up by blood tests.

Three days later on December 22 she was discharged from hospital and told to take paracetemol and take plenty of rest.

But on Christmas Eve her condition deteriorated and she was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Doctors desperately tried to revive her using adrenaline injections after she suffered four cardiac arrests but she died at 3.14pm.

Richard told the inquest: ”There are no fancy words. My daughter died because her health care was inadequate and more could have been done and that is it.”

Mum Jacqueline told how Amy pleaded with doctors not to send her home.

She said: ”We had to reassure her all the time that she was going to be all right in the hospital. She even asked if she was going to die.

”I knew she was poorly.”

The inquest heard how an ‘early warning’ system, designed to alert doctors to urgent medical emergencies, was not followed for Amy but Dr Short said she would still have been discharged.

He said: ”Would the outcome have been different? The answer is no.

”A study into toxic shock showed a mortality rate of 40 to 50 per cent even if the symptoms are detected.”

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, deputy coroner for Worcestershire Margaret Barnard said: ”Miss Carter suffered an infection in her throat which spread to her windpipe and into her blood.

”There is no medical record or literature of anyone suffering glandular fever and streptococcal toxic shock and that made Miss Carter unique.”

After the inquest Richard and Jacqueline, who have another daughter Sam, 17, and son, Ben, 24, said they were considering taking legal action against Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Richard said: ”We don’t feel they did everything they could to give Amy the best chance of surviving.”

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