A family hope that an inquest which will be held remotely before Louise Hunt, HM Coroner for the City of Birmingham and the Borough of Solihull, on Monday 14 March 2022 may give them some answers as to why their five-year-old daughter, Maryama Hussein, died on 12 October 2021 at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Maryama had been previously fit and well and a happy, sociable, little girl, when she started to vomit and developed a fever and headache. The family attempted to get an appointment with their GP surgery, finally seeing a doctor despite being told that she could not be admitted to the surgery because her high temperature (the reason for their concern) might indicate Covid-19.
Maryama was admitted to the Emergency Department of Birmingham Children’s Hospital on 29 September 2021 displaying all the previous symptoms but also bouts of unconsciousness and seizures. There was a delay incurred in her initial triage. She was eventually treated for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and given antibiotics to cover the possibility of bacterial infection of the central nervous system, which presents with similar symptoms.
Despite this, the following day her condition had deteriorated with further seizures and bouts of unconsciousness. Those symptoms seemed to abate for a while but recommenced in the early hours of 01 October 2021. It took another full day for Maryama to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Flaws have been identified in the hospital use of their anti-seizure pathway and treatment.
On 08 October 2021, her parents Juweriya Abdalle and Mohamoud Hussein had a meeting with the hospital to discuss their concerns and were told that an internal investigation would be performed because of the delay in admitting Maryama to ICU. On 12 October 2021, shortly after an unsuccessful attempt to perform a brain stem test, Maryama was pronounced brain dead, and her devastated parents gave their consent for life support to be terminated.
That internal investigation into Maryama’s treatment highlighted failures in the triage system, the ICU admission system and delays in seizure control.
The family is represented at inquest by Shoosmiths Sharon Banga, who commented:
“It seems clear that there were significant failings in Maryama’s care and there were significant delays in providing the appropriate treatment. The family hope that the inquest will give them clarity and answers to the many questions they have about what did cause what would seem to be Maryama’s tragic and avoidable death.”
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