Bristol

Meningitis death girl Izzy Gentry 'not given a chance'

Isabel Gentry
Image caption Izzy Gentry, 16, was in the middle of her AS revision when she was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary in May last year

A girl who died of meningitis "was not given a chance" by the hospital which sent her home 48 hours before her death, an inquest has heard.

Isabel Gentry, 16, was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary after falling ill on 18 May and discharged four hours later.

Her mother Claire Booty said an initial assessment was "cursory and brief" and she "could hardly walk" when sent home.

In a review after the teenager's death, the NHS Foundation Trust said her treatment was "appropriate".

Image caption Claire Booty told the inquest her daughter had shown all the symptoms of meningitis

Isabel, who was known as Izzy, had been revising for exams when she started to feel unwell on 18 May. She was taken to hospital, by ambulance, at 01:00 GMT but was sent home at 05:00.

Ms Booty told the inquest, the hospital had said her daughter had a "viral infection of the stomach".

Avon Coroner's Court heard the teenager "could hardly walk to the car" when they left the hospital after the initial assessment.

Ms Booty said: "Izzy said 'Mum, I can't believe they're sending me home, I feel so ill'. She was not given a chance."

Doctors 'distracted'

The court heard there had been a possible case of meningitis at her school, St Brendan's Sixth Form College in Bristol, a couple of weeks earlier and all students had been given leaflets explaining the symptoms.

Her mother said Izzy had the very symptoms described in the leaflet.

Paramedic Gary White, who was called out on 18 May, said he had been told the patient might have meningitis but said he "couldn't detect any major symptoms such as a rash or photophobia".

Ms Booty said her daughter "kept asking for the lights to be turned down" in the hospital treatment room.

She also said doctors "seemed to be distracted by another patient who was causing disruption at the emergency department".

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Izzy Gentry died on 20 May 2016

The inquest heard that Izzy deteriorated over the day and another ambulance was called which took her back to the hospital at 17:30.

The consultant who treated Izzy diagnosed meningitis and told Ms Booty her daughter was "very seriously ill". Ms Booty told the court the doctor "couldn't believe she'd been sent home initially".

The next day an MRI scan detected Izzy's brain was swelling and she died, on 20 May, 48 hours after being initially discharged from Bristol Royal Infirmary.

The inquest is expected to last five days and will hear from paramedics, nurses and doctors from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

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