A three year old boy, Reuben Harvey-Smith, was taken to Ipswich Hospital in July 2015 with accidental burns. He was discharged but developed a fever which was diagnosed as tonsillitis and was treated with antibiotics. His condition continued to worsen and his mother sought a second opinion. It was suspected that he in fact had toxic shock, a bacterial infection which can enter through burn wounds.
As a result of toxic shock syndrome, Reuben required below the knee amputations of both legs and the amputation of seven fingers.
Reuben's mother has brought a medical negligence claim against Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust on his behalf. The Trust has admitted "full liability" for the failings in A&E care and that amputation could have been avoided if toxic shock had been diagnosed and treated sooner.
Additional training has been given to staff regarding recognising the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome and it is hoped that this case will make doctors more aware of the condition when reviewing patients with recent burns.
An NHS trust has apologised "unreservedly" after a misdiagnosis resulted in a three-year-old boy having his legs and seven fingers amputated. Lou Harvey-Smith took son Reuben to Ipswich Hospital in July 2015 after he burned himself. Two days later she took him again, with a fever, and was told he had tonsillitis. He was later diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome and underwent the amputations.