Neglect at Warrington and Alder Hey Hospitals’ Led to Girl’s Death, Reports Show

A coroner has found that two hospitals were negligent in the death of a 14-year-old girl who died five days after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Katie Wilkins, from Warrington, died on July 31, 2020, in Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital from a severe brain bleed.

Katie may have been detected with the unusual kind of cancer sooner, according to the court.

Both hospitals apologized and stated that system modifications had been implemented.

“Strong channels of communication” have subsequently been established at Alder Hey Hospital, and Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust has taken “robust efforts to minimise delays in detecting underlying oncological illnesses,” according to the hospital.

Katie went to Warrington Hospital with discomfort and was diagnosed with an abscess on June 30, 2020, according to Gerard Majella Courthouse.

In July, she returned five times with increasing symptoms such as pain, bruises, and fever.

Staff neglected to do simple blood tests that might have detected the condition, according to the coroner.

On July 26, the adolescent fell at home and was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML).

APML is a virus that affects fibrinogen, a protein that is necessary for blood clotting.

Due to the significant risk of haemorrhaging associated with APML, Katie was transported to Alder Hey Hospital and given fibrinogen as part of her treatment plan.

Because the orders to provide fibrinogen did not reach it to the cancer specialists, she did not receive it when her levels dropped and she complained of a headache.

Katie died on July 31st after a life-threatening hemorrhage.

Katie’s death was contributed to by incompetence on the part of both hospital trusts, according to the coroner, who determined that Alder Hey did not offer “basic and essential care” to Katie after they neglected to provide the critical blood-clotting medicine.

Katie was characterized as a “funny, compassionate, and spunky child with an infectious grin” by her family.

Jeanette Whitfield and Jonathan Wilkins, her parents, claimed her death left a “big hole” in their hearts and that the day she was carried to the theater was “like something out of a horror movie.”

“We trusted that the professionals at Alder Hey were specialists who would treat our daughter with the best care,” they wrote, “even after Katie had been let down so severely by Warrington General Hospital.”

Ms Whitfield told the inquiry that health providers had “dramatically let down” her daughter.

“Katie did not get the high quality of care we pride ourselves on giving to our patients,” an Alder Hey Hospital spokeswoman said. “We regret unreservedly to Katie’s family for this.”

The hospital claimed it has implemented new procedures to ensure that there were clear lines of communication between the haematology and oncology sections.

She said that the trust was “totally dedicated to ensuring that lessons are learned in order to enhance care.”

“We have implemented improvements to our policies and systems especially pertaining to processes surrounding early warning scores in children and young people and earlier referrals to paediatric colleagues,” said Dr Paul Fitzsimmons, executive medical director at Warrington and Halton NHS Trust.

“We’ve also made aggressive measures to avoid any future delays in detecting any underlying oncological (cancer) issues.”

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