reports on the inquest of 12-month-old Lewis Mullins who died last year from a chickenpox virus with added complications of a whole body infection.
According to the report, Lewis suffered from facial blisters, a fever, breathing problems, shaking episodes and his face had become swollen.
On March 30, 2011, the National Health Clinic in Rotherham, South Yorkshire told the boy's mother Jodie Conlay, 28, that her son had chicken pox. A questionnaire with a list of Lewis’s symptoms had not been passed to the treating doctor, so, Miss Conlay was sent home with anti-viral drugs for Lewis.
The next day, after his condition had deteriorated, Lewis was taken by ambulance to Rotherham District Hospital’s casualty unit where Dr Paul Hercock, the emergency medical registrar, was unable to make a clear diagnosis and wanted further observations to take place. A senior house office and another registrar decided Lewis was having an allergic reaction to the prescribed medications, stopped the drug and discharged the baby boy. At this point, doctors also decided an X-ray was unnecessary.
The following day, Lewis’ conditioned worsened and he was taken back to the hospital; once again the severity of his condition was overlooked.
On the morning of April 2, three days after he had been first taken to the health centre, Lewis was found dead by his grandmother Elaine Mullins. Mailonline reports that the inquest continues.
According to CNNHealth
, until vaccinations became available in the US in 1995, approximately 100 people died of chickenpox annually in the US alone. About 50% of those were children and around 12,000 sufferers were hospitalised with severe complications. Since immunisation was introduced, according to Pediatrics Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics
, the annual average mortality rate for varicella (chickenpox) listed as the underlying cause of death, has declined by 88%.
The sudden death of a 7-year-old Australian boy in Australia in 2009 prompted Professor Robert Booy from the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and The University of Sydney to set up chainofprotection.org
to teach people the importance of having vaccinations against infectious diseases such as chickenpox.