Baby dies after two hospitals mistake deadly disease for teething
Seven-month-old was sent home with paracetamol.
By Pip Christmass
November 05 2019
The family of a little boy who died after doctors failed to recognise he had meningococcal is calling for an overhaul of Australia's medical system.
Seven-month-old Malakai Paraone's parents took him to two hospitals and a doctor's surgery, but they all sent him home and dismissed the symptoms as teething.
On Tuesday, at an inquest into his death, doctors and the lawyer assisting the Coroner conceded that his little life had slipped through the cracks.
Malakai was turned away by Midland Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in August 2016 when the seven-month-old had a fever, pains and a rash.
Doctors thought it was just a pulled elbow and teething problems and sent him home with paracetamol.
It was only after a trip to the GP and a third hospital visit that doctors realised the severity of the little boy's condition, but by then it was too late.
Malakai was rushed back to Princess Margaret Hospital and put on life support, but three days after his first hospital visit, he died.
On Tuesday doctors from PMH spoke at the coronial inquest.
Dr William Holloway told the court that the inconsistency of the boy's treatment at multiple locations could have contributed to him "falling through the cracks."
His suggest for reform moving forward was to ensure that children's illnesses were followed up at the same hospital or practitioner each time to ensure consistency of treatment.
Originally published as Baby who died from meningococcal sent home from hospital with panadol 'for teething'