Michael Uriely, who was diagnosed with asthma when he was two years old, was seen at Royal Free Hospital in London twice in the days before he died following a violent coughing and vomiting fit which left him struggling to breathe.
An inquest into Michael’s death revealed that despite several pleas for help and requesting that Michael was referred to an asthma clinic, doctors told Michael’s mother that he “didn’t require it” and that he would “grow out of it”. Michael had also been seen by NHS GP’s as well as private doctors, but no help was given.
Michael had been admitted to the Royal Free Hospital on 18th August following the worst asthma attack his mother had ever seen him experience, but Michael was discharged the same day, only to be brought back the following morning. But again, hospital staff ignored the warning signs of violent bouts of vomiting as well as a bloated chest, and told Michael and his mother than he was just “hysterical” even when Michael said he was “afraid to die”.
Another appointment was made with Dr Laskor after Mrs Uriely raised concerns that her son had been discharged from hospital too soon. The inquest heard that despite Dr Laskor’s “gut feeling” to send Michael back to hospital, she decided against it as Michael’s condition had improved since his discharge. Dr Laskor said she was still questioning her decision that evening, but denied that Mrs Uriely was “desperate” for help.
Just one week after the appointment with Dr Laskor, Michael collapsed and never regained consciousness. He has been competing in the Mind Sports Olympiad, and annual international competition and festival for games of mental skill and mind sports, including chess. Mrs Uriely described Michael as “highly gifted” and said that she was “devastated beyond words” over his death.
Adam Hodson, Associate Solicitor says, “Here at the Medical Accident Group we have experience of dealing with cases where patients have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis or a delay in receiving treatment, as in Michaels case. Sometimes it is justifiable that illnesses and injuries aren’t diagnosed correctly straight away, but it is unforgiveable in this instance that eleven opportunities to help Michael, who was a known asthmatic, were missed.”
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