Distraught family of 4-year-old boy ‘shattered’ after jury found he died of natural causes

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Distraught family of 4-year-old boy 'shattered' after jury found he died of natural causes


A family who believe their child could have been saved from her death by sepsis said they were “disappointed” that “natural causes” had been reached as a verdict during their investigation.
Sheldon Farnell, of Sunderland, died of sepsis on the morning of November 26, 2018, just hours after being released from the Royal Sunderland Hospital.

His family claim he was “overlooked” by doctors and failed when he was not given antibiotics – what specialists said could have stopped his tragic death, ChronicleLive reports.

Her mother Katrina Keegan, 25, burst into tears following the five-day investigation, where a majority jury of nine found her beloved Sheldon had died of “natural causes.”

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have apologized to the family for the shortcomings in medical treatment and action has been taken to correct what was wrong with Sheldon.

Following the procedure, Katrina said, “I am very disappointed, I did not think we would achieve this result.



Mom Katrina Keegan said she was “devastated”, investigation found her four-year-old son had died of “natural causes”

“I’m just emptied, devastated. It was very hard [to relive Sheldon’s final days], I’m broken. The whole family is broken. We are all devastated. ”

Coroner Derek Winter said he is writing to Health Secretary Matt Hancock expressing concerns about antibiotics and their administration, as well as point of entry and discharge contact details.

The investigation learned how Sheldon’s mother first took him to A&E three days before his death, suffering from headaches, vomiting, high fever and a feeling of lethargy.

He underwent full skeptical screening – including a lumbar puncture – but antibiotics were never given to the youngster.

Sheldon’s condition had improved so much that doctors sent him home, despite the fact that final blood culture test results had not yet returned.



It was said that the four-year-old “loved life”

Senior pediatrician Dr Geoffrey Lawson described his decision to discharge Sheldon from hospital the day before his death as his “regret of a lifetime.”

Just minutes after Sheldon’s family left the hospital, Dr Niresha Sirinanda, a senior pediatric intern at the time, was informed that the boy’s final blood culture tests returned a “Gram positive” result for group A streptococcus – a bacteria that can cause sepsis.

Despite numerous attempts to contact the family, they failed to get through, with a statement from Katrina confirming that the three numbers on record were not being used.

Sheldon’s condition deteriorated overnight due to septic shock, but when he was returned to hospital in the early hours of Monday morning, nothing could be done to save his life.



Katrina (left to right) Sheldon's great-grandmother, Hilda Jamieson, her grandmother Nicola Jamieson and Katrina's partner, Holly Keegan.
Katrinawith (left to right) Sheldon’s great-grandmother Hilda Jamieson, her grandmother Nicola Jamieson and Katrina’s partner Holly Keegan.

During the investigation, the jury learned that Sheldon would have survived if hospital staff had administered antibiotics instead of sending him home.

Dr Nelly Ninis, a pediatric consultant, said staff missed four “clear” opportunities to give the youngster intravenous antibiotics – three while in a hospital bed.

She told the jury: “If he (Sheldon) had managed to be called back or if he hadn’t left the hospital and received intravenous antibiotics, I think the whole thing would have been brought to a halt. before the onset of septic shock. ”

Grandma Nicola Jamieson said, “This little boy, he’s not supposed to be dead, he’s supposed to be here with us and his mom. And he’s not and he’s been taken away and he’s only four years old. It is not fair. ”



Sheldon's family leave Durham Miners Hall after investigation
His family agrees with specialists who said Sheldon could have survived had he been given antibiotics

Dr Paul McAndrew, deputy medical director of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said many lessons had been learned from Sheldon’s tragic death.

He said: “On behalf of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, I would like to once again offer our condolences to Sheldon’s family and wholeheartedly apologize on behalf of the Trust for the shortcomings in the care that Sheldon has received.

“There are no words to adequately express the regret we have over the tragic loss of young Sheldon on the morning of Monday, November 26, 2018. Everyone involved in Sheldon’s care was deeply affected by his death.

“The complexity of recognizing sepsis in children is a major challenge. We continue to educate our staff on the recognition and management of sepsis. We have also made some important changes should we ever have to recall a child to the hospital in the future.

As recognized by independent pediatric expert Dr Ninis, the Trust took Sheldon’s death very seriously and there has been a thorough review of processes and policies in line with national guidelines. There have been and will continue to be learned many lessons. the tragedy.

“There is nothing I can say to Sheldon’s family that will ever ease their pain, but I want to reassure them, once again, of the steps we have taken to correct the things that have gone so tragically wrong.” for Sheldon. ”

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