Baby meningitis death: Royal Oldham Hospital 'missed opportunities' to help

Royal Oldham Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption Harris's parents took him to A&E at Royal Oldham Hospital

A baby with meningitis died after a hospital "missed opportunities" to diagnose him, an inquest has found.

Muhammed Harris Mahmood died on 10 October 2015, four days after being taken to Royal Oldham Hospital with vomiting and lethargy.

His parents said their "concerns were brushed aside" by health professionals.

The coroner concluded neglect contributed to the one-year-old's death and said Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust accepted it missed chances to help him.

The baby was taken to the hospital a day after his first birthday on 6 October 2015 after three days of being sick and drowsy, Manchester Coroner's Court heard.

He was discharged with antibiotics for a throat infection, but doctors "did not take into account" that his vomiting meant he was "unlikely to absorb" the medicine, coroner Angharad Davies said in a narrative verdict.

Later the same day, his parents took him back to hospital, but he was again discharged with "no consideration of meningitis", she said, adding that a junior doctor had requested a blood test, but it was not carried out.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The one-year-old's parents said they were "refused" a blood test

He was returned to the Royal Oldham the following day and transferred to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where, "despite aggressive treatment", he died on 10 October.

In a statement, Majid Mahmood and Nosheen Kousar said their son was "a healthy, happy little boy who was loved".

They said their "concerns were brushed aside" as "a multitude of health professionals... told us the same thing - that it was nothing to worry about".

"We requested a blood test... but were refused," they said.

"In hindsight, we wish we had trusted our instincts and sought a second opinion."

Ms Davies said the trust accepted that if a neurological assessment and earlier referral had taken place, it was "probable Muhammed Harris would have survived".

Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust has been contacted for comment.

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