Doctors told mother her baby just had a cold – but hours later he died of meningitis and sepsis

A devastated mother begged hospital staff not to discharge her baby, hours before he died of meningitis and sepsis, an inquest heard.

Muna Aburizeq from Manchester was advised to call an ambulance after telling a 111 call handler that three-month-old Mohammed Aldmour’s temperature had shot up and his lips had turned blue.

When mother and son arrived at Tameside Hospital, Ms Aburizeq was told her baby had a cold and he was discharged despite her pleading with medical professionals not to send him home, telling them her son was ‘not right.’

After they got home, Mohammed’s condition continued to worsen and Ms Aburizeq took him back to hospital that night.

He died from meningitis and sepsis a short time later.

Mohammed Aldmour who died of meningitis and sepsis
Mohammed Aldmour who died of meningitis and sepsis

During the first day of a week-long inquest into Mohammad’s death, South Manchester Coroner’s Court heard that Mohammed became unwell on September 10, 2018.

He had vomited and had a temperature of over 38 degrees.

After Ms Aburizeq called an ambulance, Mohammed was assessed by a paediatric nurse in the children’s area of A&E at Tameside Hospital.

To begin with Mohammed appeared alert, responsive, and was interacting with his mother.

But when the nurse took his vital signs, she discovered his temperature had risen to 39 degrees and his heart rate was considerably faster than it should have been.

Mohammed was triaged by a paediatric nurse in the children's area of A&E at Tameside Hospital but was later sent home after a doctor said 'he's got a cold'
Mohammed was triaged by a paediatric nurse in the children’s area of A&E at Tameside Hospital but was later sent home after a doctor said ‘he’s got a cold’

He was then rushed to resuscitation.

Hospital policy states that a sticker warning of a risk of sepsis should have been placed on Mohammad’s notes.

The corner’s court heard how the nurse said she had not done this, because she had immediately escalated his case where she expected a paediatrician to attend Mohammed in resuscitation within a window of two to ten minutes.

Ms Aburizeq told South Manchester Coroner’s Court: ‘We went into a cubicle. He was in pain. He was crying.

‘A lady opposite me said ‘What the hell is wrong with that baby?’ I said ‘I don’t know, I’m doing my best to calm him down’.

‘A doctor came to me and said ‘he’s got a cold’. I was worried about his lungs because he was not breathing properly. You can’t argue with a doctor, you just trust the doctors.

‘She said he’s just got a virus, a cold virus.

‘A nurse came in, she said Mohammad was fine, we’re going to discharge him.

‘I’m a normal mum, probably a bit anxious but that’s not just me. I just want justice. He was in so much pain.’

The inquest heard that Mohammad had already had his first vaccination against meningitis B when he was eight weeks old. He would have had a second jab when he was 16 weeks old but was only three months when he contracted meningitis.

A post mortem found that Mohammad had the ‘meningitis rash’ all over his face, chest, abdomen and back, as well as on some of his limbs. His organs were also found to be covered in the rash.

The inquest, held in front of a jury, continues.

What is Meningitis B?
Meningococcal group B bacteria is a serious cause of life-threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning, worldwide and the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK.

There are 12 known groups of meningococcal bacteria, and group B (MenB) is responsible for about 90% of meningococcal infections in the UK.

Meningitis and septicaemia caused by meningococcal group B bacteria can affect people of any age, but is most common in babies and young children.

In the past 20 years, between 500 and 1,700 people every year, mainly babies and young children, have suffered from MenB disease, with around 1 in 10 dying from the infection.

Many of those who survive suffer permanent disability, such as amputation, brain damage and epilepsy.

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