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'I love my mummy' - 10-year-old who died after failings at Sheffield Children's Hospital last words

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Doctors at Sheffield Children's Hospital missed three opportunities to carry out tests which could have prevented the death of a 10-year-old girl.

Simra Ali, of St Lawrence Glebe, Tinsley, died on March 16 last year of an enlarged heart - caused by a parvovirus infection.

Simra Ali.

Simra Ali.

The youngster, described as 'energetic, beautiful and caring' by her family began to feel ill on March 12, 2017.

And despite three trips to Sheffield Children's Hospital in the space of just two days - and junior doctors recording a high heart rate on each visit - Simra was diagnosed with a urinary traction infection and discharged.

Sheffield Senior Corries Christopher Dorries recorded a narrative verdict and highlighted three 'missed opportunities to identify the trust cause and seriousness of Simra's condition.

He said: "Simra Ali, aged just 10, died on March 16, 2017 at the Sheffield Children's Hospital having collapsed at her home a short time before. The cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy.

Sheffield Senior Coroner Christopher Dorries.

Sheffield Senior Coroner Christopher Dorries.

"Simra had presented at the hospital on March 12 and twice on March 13 and was incorrectly thought to be suffering an infection. Opportunities were lost to identify the true cause and seriousness of Simra's condition."

Mr Dorries said these failings included a missed opportunity for a senior review on March 12, despite Simra giving a heart rate reading of 140bpm; failure to carry out an electrocardiogram on March 13 despite having a heart rate of between 200 and 250bpm, which he said 'would have more like than not identified the underlying cardiac problem and a further missed opportunity for a senior review before being discharged on March 14, which he said 'may have identified the path to diagnosis' of her heart condition.

Simra died two days later after collapsing at home. Her uncle gave CPR on her at her home before paramedics arrived but she died a short time later after arriving at hospital.

A statement written by her family and read out at Sheffield Coroner's Court said they felt that they were being 'dismissed by the professionals'.

It added: "While still feeling unwell Simra didn't want to go to the hospital. Even Simra had lost faith in the hospital and refused to return there asking if you we could go somewhere else."

During the afternoon of March 16 - the day Simra died - her mum spoke to her on the phone while at work to reassure her.

A section of the statement written by her mum, Nighat Farzana said: "She asked me to come home and I reassure her I was coming home soon. That was the last time I spoke to my daughter.

"She told her sister that she loved mummy and her eyes rolled back and she stopped breathing. They were her last words."

Medical staff also lost a dipstick urine sample of Simra's which was taken on her first visit.

Two separate reports from independent paediatric experts outlined the failures, which Dr Jeff Perring, medical director of Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust said he agreed with.

Dr Perring said the issues raised would be addressed as part of the hospital's induction of staff on August 1 and admitted that an opportunity was missed to further investigate Simra's high heart rate on March 14 before she was discharged an hour later.

After recording a narrative conclusion, Mr Dorries addressed the family and said: "I am desperately sorry we are here today. I do not forget that I am talking about someone who is very much loved by her family. She is not just a few words on a piece of paper to us.

"Things have gone wrong here at the hospital and I am confident they will use this opportunity to put things right in the future. You have to leave the hospital to that but I think what they are telling us, they are telling us in good faith that they will teach people differently and I can't ask any more than that."

Neil Smart, the solicitor acting on behalf of the hospital, said the trust passed on its condolences to the family.