Heartbroken family tell of toddler's tragic death from sepsis - The Solihull Observer

Heartbroken family tell of toddler's tragic death from sepsis

Solihull Editorial 10th Sep, 2020   0

A SOLIHULL couple are campaigning to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis after their two-year-old son died of the condition after doctors believed his meningitis was a viral infection.

Arlo Bennett was taken to A&E at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital after his mum Leanne Amyes found he had been sick, suffered a seizure and had stopped breathing.

The paramedics who assessed Arlo identified red flags of possible sepsis and pre-alerted the hospital.

Upon his arrival and after an initial examination, medics did not screen him for the condition or give him antibiotics.




Solicitors at Irwin Mitchell, who are representing the family, say that an official hospital investigation report into Arlo’s death found his symptoms, including a fever and a high heart rate, met the criteria to be screened for sepsis and paramedics had flagged they were concerned he had the condition.

Nine hours after his admission Arlo was diagnosed with meningitis and given intravenous antibiotics. He died later that day.


Following his death Leanne, aged 28, and partner Finton Bennett, 26, instructed Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the care provided to Arlo.

This coming Sunday, September 13, is World Sepsis Day and the couple are calling for lessons to be learned.

The signs of sepsis.

Their lawyers say a serious incident report by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust found the root cause of Arlo’s death was a ‘delay in recognition and treatment of sepsis’ caused by meningitis and that had this possibility been considered earlier and antibiotics given, ‘the outcome may have been different’.

The investigation also found that Arlo was not placed on a ‘sepsis pathway’ which would see patients undergo tests to confirm or rule out if they had the condition.

Leanne, who has another son, Alfie, aged six, with Finton said: “Arlo was such a happy boy who was always smiling and it remains incredibly hard to talk about what happened.

“I have lost my beautiful son and Alfie his little play mate. It’s still difficult that we do not understand why Arlo was not screened and treated for sepsis given how serious it is.

“Before this I hadn’t really heard of sepsis but it’s now something we will never forget.

“While I know nothing will change what has happened, I just hope that by speaking out about Arlo’s death it makes people aware of how dangerous sepsis is and the need to be aware and recognise signs of the condition.

“I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.”

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham said: “The Trust offers its unreserved apologies for the failings in the care of Arlo Bennett and extends its deepest sympathy to Leanne Amyes and her family for their sad loss.

“Our investigation acknowledged a delay in recognition of Arlo’s condition and that earlier treatment could have led to a different outcome.

“It is vitally important that we learn from this tragic death and to this end we have implemented and continue to closely monitor the action plan arising from our Serious Incident Report.”

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