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 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...