AN ANGRY mum has been waiting almost three months for answers after a paramedic’s alleged blunder almost cost her 15-month-old daughter her life.
Rachel McLoughlin, from Blacon, Chester, says she lodged a complaint with North West Ambulance Service at the end of August but has yet to receive any official response.
She claims a paramedic mistook deadly sepsis and meningitis C for a harmless virus and said her baby, Isla McLoughlin-Clegg, was not sick enough to be taken to hospital.
But when the tot finally made it to the Countess of Chester’s A&E department a nurse took one look at her and immediately called for the resuscitation team.
Little Isla was given emergency antibiotics and put on a ventilator before spending four days with specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. She is now fully recovered.
Miss McLoughlin, 40, said: “It’s just not good enough. If I’d listened to his advice then Isla would have died.
“I was told it was classed as a high risk complaint but they haven’t kept me posted on the situation and I don't see how it could take so long as it is only one person to investigate.”
A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service told the Standard the investigation was progressing but such matters took time to complete.
She said: “We take complaints such as this extremely seriously and make sure our investigations are thorough and accurate, this does mean that they can take some time to complete, particularly when you factor in the shift patterns of our staff.
“We would like to assure Isla’s family that we are progressing with the investigation and we will continue to keep them updated before reporting back with our findings. We hope Isla is recovering well after her ordeal.”
Miss McLoughlin, a mother-of-five, previously told this newspaper she had called the out-of-hours doctor at around 12.30pm on Sunday, August 13, after Isla began displaying worrying symptoms.
She was becoming “limp, floppy and unresponsive”, and kept falling asleep. Miss McLoughlin also noticed a small purple spot had appeared on her baby's neck.
After she described the symptoms, the doctor told her it sounded potentially serious and an ambulance would be sent immediately to take Isla to hospital.
Around 15 to 20 minutes later a paramedic from North West Ambulance Service arrived at her home on Lloyd Place in a fast response vehicle and went upstairs to see Isla.
Miss McLoughlin said she was then astounded when he suggested her baby simply had a virus and shouldn't be taken to hospital.
He then called the GP surgery on his mobile phone, arguing first with the receptionist and then with Isla's mum about where the tot should be taken.
“He was saying she just had a viral infection and why do I think she needs to go to hospital where she might spread the infection?” Miss McLoughlin said.
“I explained that I’d called the out of hours GP but he said he didn’t think she needs to go to hospital. All this time it turns out my daughter was slipping away.”
After about 10 minutes he relented and took mum and baby to the Countess, warning that they faced a lengthy wait in A&E.
But just minutes after arriving a nurse spotted Isla and immediately called for an emergency response team to help her.
She was given emergency antibiotics and put on a ventilator before spending four days with specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
See full story in the Chester Leader