Boy, 6, nearly dies after doctors 'miss signs of severe appendicitis THREE TIMES'

When little Kayne Oughton started to suffer belly pains, his mum Carly didn't think too much about it.

But the next day, Kayne was still in agony and refused to eat or drink, so Carly brought him into South Tyneside District Hosptial.

"They felt his tummy and said he was constipated, even though I'd explained he was like clockwork," said Carly, 29.

Carly decided to get a second opinion, so took Kayne to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead – where he received the same diagnosis.

As his stomach pains grew worse, Carly became increasingly worried that something was seriously wrong.

"About six days later, I took him back to the hospital in Shields because he had a temperature.

"He was ten times worse, he had black rings around his eyes, he was pale, he looked like he was dying in front of us," she said.

Kayne was kept in overnight and the next morning, his parents were told that they could take him home.

Carly recalled: "When we left, he was still crying and screaming in pain, but they couldn't get to the bottom of why."

Desperate to help her son, Carlie visited the nurse at her local GP practice, where she was ordered to take Kayne back to hospital immediately.

Armed with a note from the nurse, Kayne was seen by doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where his bloods revealed he had an extremely high white blood cell count – a sign of probable serious infection.

It was then that he was diagnosed with a perforated appendix, and he was transferred to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for emergency surgery.

Appendicitis can happen at any age, but it's most common in young people and teens aged from 10 to 20 years old.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

Pain in the abdomen area is the main indication that something is wrong with the appendix.

This will usually spread to the lower right-hand side of your body, where the sac is located.

Other symptoms include:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • being sick
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • a high temperature (fever) and a flushed face

You should seek urgent medical advice if the pain gets worse and spreads across your abdomen, and should call 999 to get help.

Around 40,000 people are admitted to hospital with the condition each year in England.

"It was nearly two weeks he'd been like that, crying out, and as soon as we got him there they rushed us into theatre," said Carly.

"The surgeon came to see us afterwards to say that we were very, very lucky, and if we hadn't got him there he could have died. I had done right by trusting my instincts."

It turned out that Kayne's appendix had ruptured, spreading infection through his abdomen and causing potentially deadly sepsis.

Six days later, he had to have even more surgery to make sure that every bit of the infection had been cleared.

Despite the seriousness of his situation, Carly now claims that her concerns over Kayne's condition weren't taken seriously enough by doctors when she first visited the hospital.

"Of course a doctor has medical knowledge, but you know your child better and you know if they're not right," she said.

"I know Kayne has a really high pain threshold, that's something I know as his mum, and when he's screaming in pain I know it's something serious."

Fortunately, Kayne has made a full recovery and is back at school – by Carly maintains that his treatment continues to affect him.

She said: "If his tummy hurts even a little bit now he starts crying, scared he's going to have to go to hospital.

"It's horrible to see, it's heartbreaking. What still goes through my head is what if I had just given him some Calpol and sent him to bed.

"If I'd let him go to sleep, he wouldn't have woken up the next morning."

She's hired a team of solicitors to see whether the hospital was "negligent" in sending Kayne away.

Bryony Doyle, clinical negligence solicitor from law firm JMW, said: "I am concerned about the care provided to Kayne and the fact that he was sent away from hospital on three occasions without appendicitis being suspected and he went on to develop the potentially fatal condition sepsis.

"This has been extremely traumatic for Kayne and his family and it is not the first time JMW has dealt with a case involving severe injury to a child after a parent’s concerns were ignored.

"Parents are very good at identifying when something is wrong with their child and we would urge hospitals to properly heed their concerns. Unfortunately, this does not happen enough and the consequences can be completely devastating."

Dr Shaz Wahid, medical director for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said: "Patient safety and care of the highest quality are our top priorities so we are very sorry to hear that this family were unhappy with their experience with us.

"Whenever issues are raised about a patient’s treatment we always investigate thoroughly to see if there is anything we can learn to make improvements for the future.

"If they wish to contact our customer services team we can assure them that we will speedily look into their concerns in detail."

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