A FATHER today said he feared he would have been ‘burying his son’ this week after doctors initially failed to diagnose his burst appendix which had gone gangrenous.
Twenty-two-month-old Harvey Harrison was taken by his parents to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with a swollen belly and severe pain.
Despite Harvey’s dad, John, claiming he told doctors he was sure it was appendicitis, they failed to X-ray his tummy, and instead sent him home with antibiotics for swollen tonsils.
Hours after first being at the hospital, Harvey was taken back to The Vic by his mother, Emma, who refused to believe her son was in such pain because of his throat.
The doctors agreed to admit the tot, and decided to send him by ambulance to Alder Hey Children’s hospital with suspected appendicitis last Saturday. Mr Harrison, from Cleveleys, said once at the Liverpool hospital, doctors x-rayed Harvey’s belly and found not only did he have appendicitis, but the condition had caused his appendix to burst. The organ had then turned to gangrene.
The anxious father, who also has a three-year-old son Oscar, said: “If we hadn’t have forced this issue, I could have been burying my son this week.
“Gangrene only sets around 72 hours after the rupture. That means it had burst when we went to the hospital the first time.”
Harvey remains in a poorly condition following an operation he had last Monday at Alder Hey, where his mum is keeping a bedside vigil.
He is expected to stay at Alder Hey for another two weeks.
Mr Harrison, 50, said: “The first doctor gave us some painkillers and said ‘he’ll be OK’ before ushering us out the door.
“A simple X-ray or an ultrasound would have shown just how poorly the little love was. He has been a very, very sick little boy.”
Mr Harrison said he planned to put in an official complaint to The Vic once Mrs Harrison retuned home with Harvey.
The Vic’s paediatric consultant Peter Curtis, who is head of department for child health said: “Appendicitis can be extremely difficult to diagnose in young children and infants as classic symptoms do not always appear.
“The suspicion of appendicitis was confirmed on examination and arrangements were made for him to be transferred to the most appropriate clinical location.
“For children of Harvey’s age surgery can be quite complex and therefore it is appropriate that this is carried out in a specialist unit.
“We are very sorry to hear the family have concerns with the treatment Harvey received.
“At this moment in time we have had no formal complaint but we are more than happy to discuss with the family any concerns they may have.”
Nobody at Alder Hey Hospital was available for comment.