An 18 year old Team GB athlete died from meningitis after a junior doctor in A&E wrongly diagnosed a stomach bug.

An inquest has heard how Ellie Penrose, a Team GB triathlete, fell ill in August last year with a headache and sensitivity to light.

Her mother became concerned and rang NHS Direct, who advised she take her daughter to the local community hospital in Beverly, East Yorkshire.

However, the department was very busy and Ellie was redirected to Hull Royal Infirmary, where she arrived at 11pm on 11th August 2015.

She was not seen until 3am, when a junior doctor on his first week in A&E diagnosed gastroenteritis, a viral stomach infection.

The doctor admitted at the inquest that he was “not 100% sure” of the diagnosis, but there was no consultant available to discuss his concerns with.

After consulting with another junior doctor on duty, he discharged Ellie with ibuprofen and paracetamol.

“Failure in care”

The following morning Ellie’s condition had deteriorated and she was too unwell to collect her A-Level results. She discovered online that she had excelled in her exams and was destined to read Maths at York University.

But just hours later, Ellie’s parents found her unresponsive in her bed. An ambulance was called and she arrived at hospital at 11.30am. Despite being critically unwell she was not given antibiotics until 1pm.

Sadly by then it was too late. Her body had already begun to shut down and she died a short time later from meningitis and sepsis.

A serious incident report was written after her death, which concluded there had been a “failure in care”. The report said Ellie was “inappropriately discharged” because of “human errors” and the “failure to identify key observations”.

Had Ellie been given antibiotics at 3am when she was first seen by the A&E doctor, she would have had the “optimum” chance of survival.

Meningitis claim

If you or your loved one has suffered because medical practitioners failed to diagnose meningitis, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

Share Article With:

delicious digg facebook reddit twitter stumble upon