Toddler 'sent home with meningitis'
A toddler has died after doctors failed to spot she was ill with meningitis, her parents have said.
Lili Backhouse, aged 23 months and one of twins, was taken to Queen's Hospital in Romford, Essex, by her parents Brian and Julie earlier this month.
They claim a doctor said their daughter's illness, which included fever and sickness, was a viral infection and sent her home.
But within a few hours the youngster's health had deteriorated and her parents took her to A&E.
Doctors there diagnosed her with meningitis, but it was too late to save her life.
Lili's twin Lukas fell ill with meningitis just hours after his sister died, but doctors caught the disease and he has made a full recovery.
It is also claimed that another toddler from Essex was sent home after being seen at Queen's on the same day, despite the fact he too had meningitis.
A Just Giving fundraising webpage has been set up in Lili's honour to raise cash for the charity Meningitis UK.
It says: "This donation page has been set up in the memory of Lili Jane Backhouse, who was taken suddenly from us on the 9th January 2011, aged just 23 months.
"It took less than nine hours for this terrible illness to take hold of Lili, and something that the doctors originally dismissed as a cold or virus sadly ended up taking her life just hours later.
"Lili's twin brother, Lukas, also contracted the illness later that day, but due to the tragic circumstances that surrounded Lili, he was treated early enough to fight against it, and luckily won the battle. Lukas was finally discharged from hospital a week later.
"The strain of meningitis that both Lili and Lukas had was meningitis B, the only strain that still has no vaccination."
Interim chief executive for Queen's, Deborah Wheeler, said: "Our thoughts are with the Backhouse family at this extremely difficult time.
"Meningitis is notoriously difficult to diagnose and our doctors did the very best they could for Lili.
"We would be happy to meet with both families to discuss any concerns they have and will be looking into both cases to see if anything could have been done differently."
Steve Dayman, chief executive of Meningitis UK, who lost his son to the disease in 1982, said: "It's always worrying to hear about cases where lives might have been saved.
"Unfortunately we hear stories like this far too frequently.
"It seems that doctors are sending children home too readily, which is often a deadly mistake to make when they're suffering from meningitis as it can kill in under four hours.
"Keeping children in for observation is especially important at this time of the year when cases of both meningitis and flu are rising.
"All medical professionals should know that the sooner antibiotics are administered the better the chances of survival are.
"Parents know their children best and don't go to the doctor's unless they're really concerned.
"Just because a patient doesn't have a headache, stiff neck and dislike of bright light doesn't mean they're not suffering from a life-threatening meningitis infection."
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW Londo...
£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...
£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...