4 year-old, with a 98% probability of surviving on arrival, dies after Stoke Mandeville Hospital made 28 blunders

With vomiting and diarrhoea, Oliver Blockley was given a 95% probability of survival when he was taken to hospital. Despite this, the four-year-old youngster died after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire made a total of 28 blunders in managing his care.

Medics incorrectly diagnosed the youngster with gastroenteritis, a stomach virus which antibiotics cannot manage, and as a consequence Oliver was not supplied with the drug that could have cured him. Oliver actually had an invasive form of sore throat bacteria called Strep A, which a simple blood test would have been able to pick up.

Eventually dehydration set in as Oliver was not given important fluids. Septic shock took hold of his body, he turned grey, and he ultimately sustained a fatal cardiac arrest just hours after his arrival. Jennifer, his devastated mother, said she was at first “denied information” and told that Oliver had stomach bug and he would be all right. She learned later that her son had essentially a 95% possibility of surviving, had the medics acted quickly.

As of 2013, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was put into special measures. It has now apologised to the family and are poised to pay out a five figure compensation award, accepting 28 individual counts of negligence.

When Ms Blockley took her son to Stoke Mandeville’s A&E departments in October 2011, she was originally told to return home to Thame, Oxfordshire, and to provide him with fluids. She adamantly believed that Oliver’s condition was more extreme and that he continued to stay at the hospital. Irrespective of blood tests disclosing that he was drastically dehydrated, and was heading for septic shock, doctors rejected the idea of administering antibiotics or give him fluids.

A quick heart rate and fast breathing (symptoms of septic shock) were missed by the nurses and doctors during the course of the evening. In fact, Oliver was not monitored at all between 8 PM and 1 AM. Even though nurses noted his dilated pupils and grey colouring, doctors showed up too late and he died as a result of cardiac arrest. Only 30 minutes preceding his death did the doctors finally give him antibiotics. Following his death, nurses still kept to their story, informing Oliver’s mother that he had a tummy bug and not streptococcal.

This is yet another upsetting scenario where the NHS simply did not accept their mistakes prior to legal action and a medical negligence claim being taken, putting the family through more stress in what was an already extremely distressing time. An independent expert review has been commissioned by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

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