Disease kills baby after seeing doctor
Fri, 02 Nov 2012 3:19p.m.
An investigation has been launched after a 14-month-old girl died from Meningococcal B disease hours after being seen by a Northland doctor.
Northland medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman has met with the girl's family and describes the death as one of the saddest cases he has seen.
"This case was an example of how quickly meningococcal disease can progress, and I understand the sorrow and anger the family are dealing with at this time."
The girl became unwell on October 14 and was taken to an after-hours GP service operated by Te Tai Tokerau PHO at the Bay of Islands Hospital.
The girl was taken home and died the following morning.
This is the third case of meningococcal disease this year in Northland and the first death.
An investigation into the death is being led by Te Tai Tokerau PHO which will look at the management of the case by the doctor.
The death has also been referred to the coroner.
"It is neither appropriate nor beneficial to speculate at this stage," Dr Jarman said.
"Ultimately it is up to the coroner to decide on the cause of death and to look at preventable factors."
Dr Jarman says the case highlights how unpredictable the disease can be.
"Some people do not even get sick when they catch the bug, however a small number rapidly develop invasive meningococcal disease," he said.
Dr Jarman advised parents to seek medical advice if their child becomes unwell.
"And if they don't get better or if you are worried go back to the doctor."
In late 2011 about 33,000 Northland residents aged 12 months to 20 years were immunised against Meningococcal C following an outbreak in the region.
In 1997 two people died from meningococcal disease in Northland and 43 people were diagnosed with the illness.
This year the region has seen the least number of reported cases of meningococcal disease since 1991.
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4/11/2012 7:39:49 p.m.
Geez....this is so sad. The poor family. The poor Doctor. Just the whole thing. Nothing will ever make it better, but the Doc is right, speculation at this stage is not helpful, that is what the Coroner is for, to investigate and put in place measures to help prevent it happening again, if need be.
People need to remember one thing though....Doctors are HUMAN, not Gods. Nor are they psychic. They can oly do the very best they can at the time of presentation. And Meng is a fast killer, from unwell (tis the season for colds and flu's) to death from this horrid disease in only a few hours. Tragic. Just tragic. My thoughts go to all involved.
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