Strep A: One-year-old boy nearly died after medics failed to spot infection, his family say

A one-year-old boy nearly died after doctors failed to notice a severe strep A infection, his family has said.

Joseph Silva from West Parley, Dorset, was diagnosed with less serious conditions by both a GP and by Bournemouth Hospital medics last month,his family told the BBC.

He was later placed in an induced coma on November 21 in Poole Hospital due to sepsis, his father told the BBC. He has since been discharged and is recovering at home - the BBC has reported.

An investigation is underway by the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Trust, which manages Bournemouth Hospital, the BBC said, but the hospital has declined to comment.

Joseph’s father Paul told the BBC he had taken him to a GP three times in three weeks, with symptoms including fevers, a rash and breathing problems.

Mr Silva was told that Joseph likely had a viral infection or milk allergy, despite his “raspy” chest rattle and breathing that sounded like a “motorbike”.

He said Joseph was summoned to Bournemouth Hospital on November 20 as an "amber sepsis risk" but no blood test or scan was performed and the family left with a leaflet about bronchiolitis, according to the report.

But the toddler’s condition worsened and he was taken by ambulance to Poole, where he was put in a coma, and then sent onto Southampton General Hospital - where a strep A infection was diagnosed and fluid was drained from his chest, the BBC reported.

Mr Silva said: "It was a truly horrific and harrowing experience and doctors could not confirm if he would live or die.

"His whole traumatic experience would have been completely avoided if [the] GP or [Bournemouth] hospital had run a simple blood test and chest scan.

"It was a complete misdiagnosis. We have lost faith in the health service."

In a private email seen by the BBC, Bournemouth Hospital said it had opened an inquiry.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Trust has been approached for comment.