Bristol

Oliver McGowan: Autistic teen's death to be reviewed again

Oliver McGowan Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Oliver McGowan was mildly autistic and had epilepsy and learning difficulties

The parents of a teenager with autism who died after being given anti-psychotic medication have secured a review of the inquiry into his death.

Oliver McGowan, 18, from Bristol, was being treated for a seizure at the city's Southmead Hospital in 2016 when he was given olanzapine to sedate him.

His parents claim it was given against their wishes but an inquest into his death ruled it was the right decision.

A further review of the case has been commissioned by NHS England.

Mr McGowan was mildly autistic and had epilepsy and learning difficulties.

The inquest into his death heard the olanzapine had led to the teenager contracting the rare condition Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, causing his brain to swell.

He died in intensive care 17 days later.

Image caption Mr McGowan's care notes said he was allergic to anti-psychotics

His parents said they repeatedly told medics he should not be given olanzapine because he had reacted badly to it in the past and because he did not have a mental health diagnosis.

The coroner ruled the drug had been properly prescribed.

The local Commissioning Care Group (CCG) carried out a Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) report to identify if any lessons could be learned to improve the care of people with learning disabilities.

It was unable to say categorically whether the death was avoidable or not.

Paula McGowan, Oliver's mother, said: "The crucial question: 'was this an avoidable death', they've failed to answer.

"We know the answer is yes, but why have they done that? It's an insult to Oliver's memory and to us."

In a statement the CCG said: "The national NHS team responsible for the LeDeR programme has commissioned a further review of the case and we will work with them and Oliver's family to ensure that the resulting recommendations are implemented as soon as possible."

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Mr McGowan died in intensive care after contracting the rare condition Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

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