Stoke-on-Trent doctor missed infection which killed 5-year-old girl, inquest told

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A Stoke-on-Trent doctor spoke of his regret after he failed to send a five-year-old girl to hospital just 12 hours before she died, an inquest heard.

Ifza Mazhar, of Regent Street, Stoke, died of a rare infection after collapsing at home.

Twelve hours earlier, she had been examined by Dr Phani Sirigiri. at the Staffordshire Doctors Urgent Care Centre.

The inquest heard Dr Sirigiri saw the girl for a brief consultation on October 19, 2013, and he then gave her a dose of Calpol, Ibuprofen and a prescription of antibiotics as he thought his patient was suffering from a chest infection.

Dr Sirigiri told the inquest at Hanley Town Hall: “After my examination I did not think it was required at the time – looking back I wish I sent her to hospital.”

Despite missing her diagnosis, North Staffordshire Senior Coroner Ian Smith told the inquest that Dr Sirigiri “must not be blamed” for the child’s death.

Ifza died of a rare infection which causes less than 10 deaths a year in both adults in children in Staffordshire.

The girl was described as a “nice, well-behaved and happy child” by her mother, Tahira Jabeen, also of Regent Street.

She told the court her daughter  went to school as normal on Friday October 18 , but then began to feel ill a day later, suffering from a fever and high temperature.

Ifza deteriorated further as the day progressed, Tahira Jabeen told the inquest her daughter had begun talking to herself as the evening passed.

She said: “She would ask ‘what’s that on the roof’, when there was nothing there.”

The family took her to Staffordshire Doctors Urgent Care Centre.

When she arrived shortly after 11pm, she recorded a temperature of 40 degrees and a heart rate of over 200 beats per minute. Normal body temperature is around 37 degrees, and heart rate of just over 100 bpm.

After being sent home by Dr Sirigiri, Ifza woke up the following morning at 8.30.

She was carried downstairs and laid on the sofa at home, until her mother went to check on her and she was unresponsive.

She told the court: “When I went into the room and called her she didn’t say anything, I went to touch her and there was no response.”

When the paramedics arrived her heart had stopped, her jaw was locked and her limbs were stiff.

Coroner Mr Smith said: “Dr Sirigiri did not diagnose the cause of death but as a GP he acted appropriately, 99.9% of GPs would have done the same.”

The Crown Prosecution Service ruled that Dr Sirigiri would not face criminal charges when he appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Coroner’s court in March 2015.

Senior Coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of natural causes.

 

 

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