Doctors 'missed' four-year-old Blackpool girl's kidney stone which left her screaming in pain
A four-year-old girl who was discharged from Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s children’s ward three times in a month with a suspected infection passed a large kidney stone at home while screaming in agony with only Calpol to ease the pain.
Millie Elliot was first taken to Blackpool A&E by her mum, Petrina, on February 1 after experiencing severe pain while urinating.
What followed was more than a month of torture, as, unknown to both her parents and doctors, she was suffering from a huge kidney stone, that she would go on to pass in a pool of blood at her Thirsk Grove home.
Her devastated mum said: “Millie has gone through pain that most adults would have been sedated for.
“It’s gone on every day since February 1, with the worst being Wednesday night. She was on her knees screaming ‘Mummy, make it stop, make it stop’, and there was nothing I could do.“I can’t get that vision out of my head. If it’s affected me that much, how has it affected a four-year-old child?”
Upon her first visit to A&E, the Waterloo Primary School pupil was given three days worth of antibiotics for a suspected UTI.
But by the following Tuesday the pain had gotten worse, and Petrina took her to visit her GP at Highfield Surgery, who referred them to the Vic’s children’s ward.
Petrina, 33, said: “We were seen again and told that she had not taken the antibiotics for long enough. We were sent home again with antibiotics, and two days later she started vomiting in intense pain, holding her kidneys every time she used the toilet.”
She took Millie back to her GP on February 14, who again referred her to Blackpool Vic.
But Petrina said she was sent back home that same day without a single test being carried out.
“My daughter was laid on the bed in the hospital when the doctor came in and felt her tummy and said ‘there’s nothing wrong with her, send her home’. No tests, no nothing,” she said.
“She continued to be ill, getting worse and worse. I went to the GP on the Monday (February 18) morning and said I was absolutely lost and didn’t know what to do.
“We were sent back to the Vic on the Monday. By that time she couldn’t stop vomiting and they thought she had sepsis.”
Millie was kept in overnight, but Petrina said late the following day she was sent home with a cannula still in her hand and told to come back the next day to have it removed and to get the results of the sepsis test, as doctors needed the bed for another patient.
She said: “We went back the next day (February 20) and by that time her symptoms have improved. She was still hurting when she weed, but they said that was normal because it was a UTI.”
Petrina said she and her husband Scott, 34, begged the hospital to carry out a scan on Millie, but their request was denied as they were allegedly told ‘children don’t get kidney stones’.
By February 24, Millie’s vomiting had returned, and Petrina took her back to her GP.
The following morning they returned to Blackpool Vic, where a scan was finally arranged for March 22.
“Petrina said: “We said we’re not taking her home until she’s getting a scan.
“They did send us home anyway on the basis that when she got it out, she’d get her scan.”
Her daughter was finally scanned on February 25, revealing the cause of her month of agony - a stone in her left kidney.
Petrina said: “I could see on the screen that there was something there. It looked like a big white mass. The nurse took us back to the ward and we were quickly seen by a doctor who sent her for an x-ray.
“She went for an x-ray and we waited for three hours. I knew something wasn’t right.
“It was a huge kidney stone.”
Millie was sent home yet again as the family awaited a referral to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to have the stone removed - but on March 6, at around 6pm, she started “screaming in agony”.
“The only way I can describe is it was like labour – her face was going purple,” Petrina said.
“I got her in the car and raced her to A&E. One doctor came in and said it was possible that the kidney stone was trying to come through.
“We took off her pants and she had passed with it a lot of blood.
“All she had had was one dose of Calpol.”
Petrina and Scott are now awaiting a referral to Manchester Children’s Hospital to see whether Millie sustained any internal damage during her agonising ordeal.
The four-year-old reception pupil returned to school with her twin brother, Tommy, on Friday after missing nearly three weeks of teaching.
Petrina, a support and wellbeing student at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said she had been seen by no fewer than 11 different Vic doctors before her kidney stone was found.
She said: “This could have all been avoided. She shouldn’t have had to go through that trauma.”
She said she has made a complaint to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service about the hospital.
“I’m absolutely disgusted by the way they have treated a four-year-old,” she said.
“My children are miracle babies through IVF and they have put her at risk.
“Now her possibility of getting kidney stones again is higher and the risk of kidney failure later in life is increased.
“She saw 11 different doctors. How can 11 different doctors not pick up on it? You should be able to trust your doctors.
“I didn’t expect it from them. My son has asthma and we have been on that ward plenty of times so I did have trust in them, and now it has gone.”
A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust does not comment on individual cases but takes all complaints very seriously and deals with them through its thorough complaint processes.”