Doctors failed three times to spot fatal illness in baby boy
A BABY BOY who died after he was sent home three times by doctors who failed to spot he had a deadly infection, could have been saved if he had been given antibiotics, an inquest has heard.
Lewis Mullins, who had just turned one, had been suffering from a severe attack of chickenpox.
He was examined by a GP at an NHS walk-in centre and then twice by hospital doctors within the space of three days after he started to run a high temperature, developed a different rash on his face and mouth, had breathing problems, started shaking and his face became swollen.
His parents of Maltby, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, repeatedly told doctors their son was sick, but they were given only an antiviral drug and painkillers to treat Lewis who was found lifeless at home the day after the final visit.
Dr Mudher Al-Adnani, a pathologist, said Lewis had contracted a Group A streptococcus bacteria which spread through his body within two to three days. The chickenpox made the boy more vulnerable and probably caused the pneumonia which eventually killed him.
Dr Kate Ward, a consultant paediatrician who reviewed the case, said that if Lewis had been given antibiotics on the three occasions he was sent home he would probably have survived.
She also said the doctors concentrated too much on the chickenpox without looking for a secondary bacterial infection.
The hearing continues.