Grays tot died of natural causes says coroner

AN inquest into the death of a four-month-old baby from Grays has concluded the tot died of natural causes reports the Thurrock Gazette.

Scott Mansfield was taken to Grays Health Centre three times before he died from meningitis in Basildon Hospital on June 18, 2008.

His mother Danielle questioned whether doctors at the surgery could have referred him to hospital earlier and saved his life.

Essex coroner, Caroline Beasley-Murray, heard evidence from locum GP Ranjith Dambawinna and nurse practioner Carol Felstead, as well as expert witness Dr Andrew Riordan, a specialist in paediatric infectious diseases.

Dr Riordan called the assessments of baby Scott at Grays Health Centre “reasonable” and said he thought it was “unlikely” anything could have been done to save the tot after he developed a haemorrhagic rash.

The coroner decided to take a week to consider all the evidence.

Giving her verdict on Friday, Mrs Beasley-Murray said the court was accepting the opinion of Dr Riordan that it was unlikely doctors could have saved Scott because the meningitis was so aggressive.

Referring to his report, she said: “When the deterioration is rapid, over a couple of hours, there’s less chance of survival.

“Sadly, in Scott’s case it was very rapid, over a matter of hours, and the doctor seems to be saying the outcome was less positive.

“Dr Riordan is saying, as a hospital doctor, that in those few hours before he developed the rash, it’s not certain it would have been picked up as meningitis if Scott had gone to hospital.

“The court accepts Dr Riordan’s opinion and concludes that Scott died as a result of natural causes.

“It was a naturally occurring disease which took its course, sadly in Scott’s case very, very rapidly.”

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