Tragedy after boy dies after being wrongly diagnosed with tonsillitis

Callum Cartlidge. Picture: SWNS
Callum Cartlidge. Picture: SWNS
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The parents of a boy who died hours after being wrongly diagnosed with tonsillitis are still waiting for an apology six months after a coroner blasted bungling hospital staff.

Callum Cartlidge was rushed to A&E after he went to his GP suffering from vomiting and dehydration.

Callum Cartlidge with his dad Adie and his twin brother.  Picture: SWNS

Callum Cartlidge with his dad Adie and his twin brother. Picture: SWNS

Days earlier he had been diagnosed with tonsillitis and given penicillin but his condition deteriorated and his blood sugar plummeted.

On March 2 last year he was taken by ambulance to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but was discharged at 11pm.

Tragically the next day he suffered a cardiac arrest at home.

Callum was again taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital - 21 miles from his family’s home in Redditch, Worcs.

Callum Cartlidge.  The grieving parents of a boy who died after being sent home from hospital without a life-saving blood test have called on a NHS Trust to apologise for his death. Picture: SWNS

Callum Cartlidge. The grieving parents of a boy who died after being sent home from hospital without a life-saving blood test have called on a NHS Trust to apologise for his death. Picture: SWNS

Paramedics rushed him to hospital in 23 minutes, but he died shortly after arriving.

Callum actually lived 1.9 miles away from Alexandra Hospital in Redditch which had stopped taking paediatric emergencies because of a shortage of doctors.

An inquest in May this year heard Callum had been examined by a number of medics but was diagnosed with tonsillitis and stomach ache.

A post-mortem revealed he had been suffering from Addisonian crisis - a life-threatening illness requiring immediate emergency treatment caused by a shortage of the hormone cortisol.

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Assistant Worcestershire Coroner David Reid slammed medics and said they “failed to provide basic medical care.”

He said: “Not enough attention was paid to the overall clinical picture on other things that had been going on before Callum’s arrival in hospital as well as once he arrived there, and didn’t fit with the diagnosis of gastroenteritis.

“Not enough was done to exclude other possible causes.

“For all those reasons, I find the decision not to carry out blood tests and instead to discharge Callum was not a reasonable one in the circumstances.

“I find that the failure to carry out blood tests on March 2 was a failure to provide basic medical attention.”

Today (Tue) Callum’s family have told how they are still waiting for an official apology from the hospital six months after the inquest.

In a statement, Stacey, 34, and dad Aidy, 38, said: “The day Callum died our family changed forever.

“Callum was such a fun, infectious boy who was loved by everyone. He had his whole life ahead of him “We are upset at the hospital Trust and the stance it has taken throughout this.

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“Six months after the inquest we feel it is still trying to avoid the issue of Callum’s death.

“All we have ever wanted is to fully establish why Callum died and what measures have been taken so other families don’t have to live with the hurt and pain that we continue to experience.

“An apology won’t bring Callum back but at least if the Trust said sorry and said what is being done to help patients, our family may be able to try and move on.”

Caroline Brogan, specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “Stacey and Aidy are distraught that no-one at the Trust has ever apologised for the death of their boy.

“This continues to be the case six months after the inquest. We are still waiting to receive the Trust’s formal response.

“Nothing can ever make up for Callum’s death but his family would like to try and move on with their lives the best they can. An apology would provide them with some kind of closure.”