Manchester

Manchester hospital scan delay 'contributed to girl's stroke death'

Victoria Olabode Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Victoria Olabode was "such a beautiful girl," says her mother

A three-day delay in giving a 12-year-old girl a CT scan contributed to her stroke death, a hospital has admitted.

Victoria Olabode, who had sickle cell disease, was admitted to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital in July with chest pain and breathing issues.

In a report, the hospital said junior staff working that weekend failed to recognise signs of a stroke. Her family have vowed to "fight for justice".

The hospital said it was "committed to ensuring that lessons are learned".

Sickle cell anaemia is a lifelong health condition that predominantly affects people from African or Caribbean backgrounds and is one of the most common causes of stroke in children.

Because sickle cells are less flexible than normal red blood cells, they can get stuck in blood vessels. If this happens in the brain, it can result in a stroke.

Image caption Victoria's family are planning to set up a charity in her memory

In its report, the hospital, which is managed by the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said Victoria was admitted on Tuesday 2 July.

On Friday evening, she was being sick repeatedly and developed a severe headache - symptoms which the hospital report said were consistent with a stroke.

By 23.10 BST, Victoria was "screaming with pain" prompting her mother Elizabeth Olabode to ask for a scan, the report said.

At the time, an on-call consultant suggested that if Victoria's condition had not improved by the next day the scan should be undertaken.

However, there was a "perception Victoria was having a painful sickle cell crisis" and the scan did not actually take place until after the weekend, three days later.

She eventually had a CT scan on Tuesday 9 July and the report concluded the delay of up to 72 hours in carrying out an exchange transfusion - the recognised treatment of stroke in sickle cell patients - was "likely to have contributed to Victoria's death" which it was "very sorry about".

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Victoria wanted to train to help children with sickle cell disease

A hospital spokesperson said it had "undertaken a thorough proactive investigation" following Victoria's death, adding it was "committed to ensuring that lessons are learned as we go through this process to improve patient care".

Her father Victor Olabode said: "The only thing we want now is justice."

Victoria's mother Elizabeth said: "She was such a beautiful girl - she was an angel."

She said her daughter had wanted to train to help children with sickle cell disease and the family were planning to set up a charity in her memory.

"The legacy must go on," she added.

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