Case study: inquest into child’s death following misdiagnosis
Georgia Keeling died from a meningitis-type infection leading to sepsis, after being wrongly diagnosed with swine flu by a paramedic at the height of the pandemic.
Four hours after the initial ambulance was turned away by the paramedic, a second 999 call was made and the toddler taken to hospital where she died.
Norfolk Coroner, William Armstrong, ruled that Georgia died following an “erroneous diagnosis” and that the failure to admit her to hospital immediately reduced her chances of survival and contributed to her death.
He also commented that the paramedic’s examination was inadequate and that emergency services failed to recognise the severity of her condition.
Speaking after the inquest, the medical negligence solicitor who represented the family said:
“I am honoured to have had the opportunity to represent Natasha Keeling and Paul Sewell in this very tragic case.
Whilst their pain will never subside, I hope that they have finally got the answers that they have been searching for. The full and frank investigation carried out by the Norfolk Coroner left no doubt that mistakes were made in recognising the severity of Georgia’s illness which lead to her tragic death.
The family has battled for the past 3 years to raise awareness of the early symptoms of Streptococcal Septicemia and is pleased that the trust has put in place extra training for front line staff, in the hope that this won’t happen to anyone else.
From a legal perspective, it highlights the need for legal aid funding to be available at inquests for those people who don’t have the means to obtain legal representation privately.
Hospital trusts will always have representation, and it is unjust that this is not available to the individual.”
If you’d like to discuss representation at an inquest or the delayed or misdiagnosis of illnesses, such as meningitis, with our specialist medical negligence solicitors, contact our team on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.