A mother today told of her upset after her daughter suffered a fractured skull – yet says the horrific injury was only diagnosed after a third medical assessment.
Charmaine Dodds, 13, suffered a fall while playing with friends at the Cherwell Centre, Grange Park, at around 8.30pm on Thursday.
But it was not until more than 12 hours later, after being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for a second time, that the full extent of her injuries were revealed – despite having been looked over by a paramedic immediately after the incident and assessed by a medic at the hospital’s A&E department the same night.
Now her mum, Carrie Dodds, 33, is demanding answers to why her daughter, who bore no superficial injuries but was complaining of severe head pains and was vomiting violently, was not scanned sooner.
Bosses at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have today defended her treatment, saying she was assessed properly according to head injury guidelines.
But the mother-of-four said: “I feel the X-ray should have been the first thing they did when she was first admitted.
“When they later said she’d cracked her skull I just couldn’t believe what was going on, I just broke down.”
Charmaine, a Year Eight pupil at Aspire Academy in Bispham, was initially assessed by a paramedic, who advised she be taken home and given painkillers.
But when she arrived home, on nearby Park View, Grange Park, she started to vomit violently and suffered poor vision, and her mum decided to take her to A&E.
There she was treated by a doctor who checked her vision and reflexes, among other assessments, and she was discharged with medical advice and spent a restless night awake at home.
It was nearly 12 hours after the initial accident, at around 7.30am on Friday, that Charmaine’s mother feared she was losing consciousness, and decided to call the emergency services again.
She was admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for a second time, at around 9.30am that morning, where she was X-rayed and the fracture was found.
It was quickly decided that her serious head injury warranted being airlifted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, where she spent 30 hours under observation.
Charmaine is now recovering at home, and medics expect the fracture will take around 12 weeks to heal.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We are sorry to hear of the family’s concern about the care Charmaine received at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
“The family have been in contact with the trust, and a full investigation will be carried out.
“The family will be fully informed of the outcome and will be given the opportunity to meet trust clinicians to discuss Charmaine’s care.
“We can confirm that Charmaine was treated appropriately by senior staff and in accordance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) head injury guidelines.
“Charmaine was transferred to Alder Hey to ensure care could be delivered by the most experienced team managing head injuries. We wish Charmaine a full and speedy recovery.”