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Ava inquest: Failures in care ‘more than probably’ contributed to death, jury concludes

Ava MacFarlane from Nottingham, died from a bacterial blood infection in Decemeber 2017. Credit: Family photo

A jury at the inquest into the death of a 5-year old girl with Down Syndrome has concluded failures in her care ‘more than probably’ contributed to her death.

Ava MacFarlane from Nottingham, died from a bacterial blood infection at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre on 15th December 2017.

Despite suffering from a fever, vomiting, and a red rash, doctors discharged Ava from hospital two days earlier with some Ibuprofen - believing she had a normal childhood bug.

During questioning by the Asst Coroner, Doctor David Shearn accepted he ha not followed clinical guidelines and should have tested Ava for sepsis.

He also accepted that if Ava’s infection had been picked up earlier, it would have improved her chances of survival.

Emergency Medicine specialist Dr Christopher Hadden told the inquest he also should have considered testing Ava for sepsis, and that he failed to examine Ava prior to sending her home.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Nicola Kelly who treated Ava in intensive care, said the failure to admit Ava to hospital on December 13th, probably contributed to her death. And that had she been given antibiotics earlier it would have given her a chance of fighting off the infection.