Coroner investigating after girl sent home by hospital dies on second visit to ER
Published Friday, February 17, 2017 6:32PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 21, 2017 5:15PM PST
Feb. 21 update: The BC Coroners Service has confirmed it is investigating the death of Nimrat Gill. A statement said the purpose of the investigation is not to find fault, but to come up with recommendations that could help prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.
Original article follows.
The family of a three-year-old who died of what appears to be pneumonia last week says the girl's condition wasn't taken seriously enough at a local hospital.
Nimrat Gill died Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, during her second visit to the facility in as many days.
The girl who had once been "energetic, active, playful," started getting sick on Sunday, developing a cough and other cold symptoms in the morning. But her condition was dramatically worse at night, her mother Balraj Gill said.
She couldn't sleep, so her mother held Nimrat in her lap. By 1:30 a.m., they decided they should go to the hospital.
Balraj and her husband took the ailing tot to the emergency room, but were told to go home and treat her with Tylenol and Advil every four hours.
"We were satisfied, if they check her and they say she's OK," Balraj told CTV News on Friday.
"They say she doesn't have any infection or anything, it's only just a regular cold."
But Nimrat began vomiting Monday night, so they took her back to the hospital early Tuesday morning.
"Within five hours, she was gone," Balrag said.
Before Nimrat died, she was given an X-ray and blood tests. Meanwhile, her mother noticed she was becoming unresponsive.
"She was saying, 'Let's go home, let's go home, let's go home,'" Balraj said.
She said she was told that Nimrat's worsening condition could be because of the blood work, or from fighting a fever.
"I believed them because it's their daily job," Balraj said.
A doctor came to look, and she told him the girl was unresponsive and she couldn't talk properly. The doctor took notes and left the room, she said.
Balraj said Nimrat's skin on her arm had a bluish tint when staff came to take more blood, but no one seemed concerned.
A short time later, medical staff swarmed into the room.
"They made a code call, and after that the whole hospital was there," Balraj said.
But Nimrat's aunt, Preet Kooner, said the family wondered why a doctor or another member of the team hadn't been supervising her when her condition was so serious.
By the time staff members rushed into the room it was too late to save the girl, Preet said.
"She was gone by then."
As the family prepares to say goodbye to Nimrat at a funeral over the weekend, they've decided to file a formal complaint in the girl's case.
Two days after Nimrat's death, their family doctor received the X-rays confirming she had a severe case of pneumonia that caused further infections.
Her aunt said she doesn't understand why it took so long for staff to recognize and treat the symptoms, and why medical professionals in an emergency room didn't recognize the urgency of the case.
"Something has to be done," Preet said. She added that she hopes the doctor gets some kind of punishment so others learn from his mistake.
"Our kid didn't have to pay with her life. Why did she have to pay?"
Nimrat's mother said she hopes staff learns to be careful when it comes to children, and her aunt hopes a separate facility for children is built in Abbotsford.
B.C.'s health minister said he and the government send the family their sincere condolences, and that a patient safety review is underway.
The Fraser Health Authority says the review will look into the care Nimrat received and her cause of death.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber