Verdict due into death of teenager who died as her mother called 111

13 January 2020, 09:13

Shante Turay-Thomas did not know how to use the epipen
Shante Turay-Thomas did not know how to use the epipen. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

An inquest is set to conclude on Monday into the death of a teenager who apparently suffered an allergic reaction which initially went undetected by NHS call staff.

An aspiring lawyer who fell unconscious while her mother was on the phone to the NHS 111 non-emergency line suffered from a nut allergy and had told her mother she felt unwell.

Shante Turay-Thomas, 18, was at her family home in Wood Green, north London, in September 2018 with her mother Emma Turay.

Ms Turay then spent 13-and-a-half minutes on the phone to 111 before the call handler suggested the teenager used her auto-injector pen.

But the 18-year-old had never been trained to use the self-administered adrenaline shot, and became frantic as she told her mother it had not worked.

A transcript from the phone call to 111, read during the inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court, revealed how Ms Turay-Thomas could be heard in the background, telling her mother: "My chest hurts, my throat is closing and I feel like I'm going to pass out."

The student then asked her mother to check how long the ambulance would be, before adding: "I'm going to die."

She died later in hospital.

The inquest previously heard one ambulance was initially dispatched to the victim's grandmother's house six miles away, despite Ms Turay giving her Wood Green address several times.

Professor Adam Fox, a consultant allergist at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, told the inquest Ms Turay-Thomas would have stood a better chance of survival if NHS call handlers had spotted the signs of her rapidly deteriorating condition.

Call handler Ademola Dada admitted he made mistakes under pressure after the patient's mother described to Mr Dada during the call that her daughter had a rash, tingling at the back of her throat and she might have eaten nuts.

But he said his priority was not to deviate from the NHS Pathways symptoms assessment service in order to get an ambulance to the sick patient.

Ms Turay has been present in court throughout the inquest, which was initially due to conclude in November, clutching a framed photograph of her daughter.

She told coroner Mary Hassell she was so traumatised by her daughter's death that she has been unable to return to the family home.

The inquest has been delayed repeatedly after lawyers for Ms Turay-Thomas's family complained that they were served hundreds of pages of disclosure part-way through.

The coroner is due to return her ruling on Monday afternoon.

Comments

Loading...

Happening Now