London – A mother begged hospital staff not to discharge her baby boy hours before he died of meningitis, an inquest heard.
Three-month-old Mohammad Aldmour was taken to hospital by ambulance but was sent home a few hours later after a doctor mistakenly diagnosed him with a cold.
When Mohammad’s condition failed to improve at home, he was taken back to the same hospital later that night. He died of meningitis soon afterwards.
During the first day of a week-long hearing into Mohammad’s death, his mother Muna Aburizeq told how a doctor dismissed his condition despite her pleas for help at Tameside Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Miss Aburizeq said: ‘We went into a cubicle. [Mohammad] 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 begged her not to send me home. I said, “he’s not right, look at him”.’
Asked by coroner Alison Mutch if there was anything else she would like to say in evidence, Mrs Aburizeq, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, added: ‘I want justice for Mohammad and I don’t want any mother to suffer the way that I’ve suffered.
‘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 and would have had a second jab at 16 weeks, but sadly died before he reached that age.
The hearing also heard from Mohammad’s health visitor, who said he was a ‘beautiful lovely little baby’ who was ‘thriving, happy and sociable’.
Mohammad fell ill on the afternoon of Monday, September 10, 2018. Mrs Aburizeq took his temperature after he started vomiting, and found it was over 38C (100F). She also noted that his lips appeared blue and he was very pale. She was advised by an NHS 111 call-handler to ring for an ambulance.
A post-mortem examination noted 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 continues.
Sent home: Mohammad Aldmour had not yet had his second meningitis jab, which was due at 16 weeks