Doctor 'laughed at' plea to help girl who died in hospital

4:06pm Thursday 16th January 2014

By Sophia Sleigh

A four-year-old girl died in hospital hours after a consultant laughed when she was told the girl should be intensive care, an inquest heard today.

A junior doctor in Kingston Hospital was laughed at by a senior colleague when she suggested a consultant should examine a four-year-old Freya Wells, from Wallington, who died hours later after suffering a severe infection, West London Coroner's Court heard.

Little Freya died in the hospital after being admitted for breathing difficulties, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dr Hilary Towse, a paediatric senior house officer (SHO), told the court she tried to convince paediatrics registrar Dr Rosita Ibrahim to call for a consultant in the early hours of November 22, 2012.

She said she thought Freya should be given rapid fluids through a bolus and IV drugs rather than oral, but Dr Ibrahim disagreed with her.

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Kingston Hospital 

Dr Towse said: "I specifically said that she needed to have a bolus, I specifically said that she needed to have IV antibiotics and I specifically said that she would need intensive care.

"She thought what I was saying was ridiculous.”

Dr Towse began to cry and added: "I do recall that she laughed."

When asked why she did not contact the consultant herself, she said: "It will always be something I'll regret for the rest of my life.

"It would never normally be the role of the SHO to do that. Probably I had some experiences where I've been entirely appropriate to speak to a consultant but they would not want to speak to me because I was the SHO."

Nurse Kate Lynch, who also cared for Freya at the hospital, told the hearing that she disagreed with Dr Ibrahim that the youngster should be given intravenous rather than oral antibiotics.

Richard Baker, representing Freya's family, asked her: "Are you saying on this occasion the doctor was wrong?"

Ms Lynch replied: "I felt that she should have had intravenous antibiotics."

The inquest, that is due to finish tomorrow, continues.
 

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