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Great Ormond Street Hospital errors led to a 5 year old boy's death

View profile for Guy Pomphrey
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Great Ormond Street Hospital (“GOSH”) have admitted mistakes causing the death of a 5 year old. 

The boy had a liver transplant in 2012 shortly after his birth because of cancer. He was under the care of GOSH (as an outpatient) and the transplant team at King’s College Hospital.

On 24 August 2017, the boy had a routine blood test at GOSH.  The blood test indicated that he had an adenovirus infection which can be fatal if left untreated.  Despite this risk, the results of the blood test were not communicated to the team at King’s College Hospital.  The untreated infection caused the boy’s condition to deteriorate and by the time the mistake had been identified he was very sick.

He began anti-viral treatment but the infection had spread and the boy suffered multiple organ failure. Tragically, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died on 30 September 2017.  

Earlier this year, the boy’s parents agreed an out of court settlement with the Defendant NHS Hospital Trust.  According to The Independent, the hospital has recently admitted that an expert had reviewed the case and concluded its actions did contribute to the boy’s death.

This case underlines the crucial importance of effective communication within the NHS given that multiple teams and often different NHS Hospital Trusts can be involved in a patient’s medical care.

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