Dartford hospital admits failings over girl's sepsis death

Kessie Thomas Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Kessie Thomas was suffering from convulsions when she was taken to hospital

A hospital has apologised for its failures after a four-year-old girl died from sepsis.

Kessie Thomas was taken to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, with symptoms including a high temperature and convulsions, but was sent home.

Her mother Marie Thomas said there was "every reason" to believe her daughter would have survived had she been kept at the hospital.

The hospital apologised and said it "did not get it right" for Kessie.

Kessie was taken to hospital in April 2017 and her mother was told by staff to administer Calpol and ibuprofen.

Over the next 24 hours her condition did not improve and she was taken back to the hospital, where she suffered a cardiac arrest caused by septicaemia.

She was moved to London to receive specialist care, but died later the same day having suffered severe brain damage.

"There is every reason to believe that if Kessie had been kept in hospital for observations overnight she would still be with us today," Ms Thomas said.

"We want the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust to share the lessons that they have learnt from their investigations with all trusts across the country so that no-one need suffer the way we have in the future."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Kessie Thomas was taken to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford

The family took legal action against Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which admitted that staff failed to follow established guidelines that would have identified sepsis as a potential diagnosis.

In a statement, the trust sent its "condolences and apologies" to Kessie's parents.

It added: "Losing a child at any time is tragic. We acknowledge we did not get it right for Kessie and have instituted several actions since to improve awareness, identification and treatment of sepsis.

The trust said it had since carried out a serious incident investigation into Kessie's death and has outlined plans to further train medical staff in A&E and paediatrics.

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