In the inquest into the death of six-year-old Layla-Rose Ermenekli, the Coroner, Lisa Hashmi, yesterday ruled that her death from meningococcal sepsis could have been avoided.
In her verdict, the Coroner said that a "a catalogue of errors" including a two-hour delay in assessing the six year old and a “barely perfunctory” examination by hospital registrar Harsha Rajanna, who failed to spot the tell-tale signs of a sepsis rash, resulted in a lost ‘window of opportunity’ to stop the deadly sepsis spreading through her body."
Commenting on the Coroner’s verdict, Dr Tom Nutt CEO at Meningitis Now said: “This is yet another tragic incident, where the life of a child has been lost to meningitis, despite clear signs of the disease being present and concerns being raised by both parents and other health professionals."
“We recognise and understand the difficult task doctors face when a child presents with what could be any number of childhood illnesses. What we, and parents across the UK will find difficult to accept, is the way that parental concerns, from those who know their children better than anyone, are often discounted and in this particular case, that the concerns of professional junior colleagues were simply ignored."
“In the absence of a universal vaccine for meningitis, we spend a considerable amount of time and resources trying to encourage people to know the signs and symptoms to trust their instincts, and to know that rapid action can save lives. I hope that this sad case serves to encourage health professionals to be more aware of meningitis and sepsis, listen to the concerns of parents and learn the lessons from the tragic death of Layla-Rose; and in doing so prevent more children suffering as she did."
“Our thoughts are with Kirsty and Ricky Ermenekli, as they come to terms with the fact that the health system failed them and their little girl”.