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Mum’s heartache as coroner rules death of girl, six, from ‘one of the worst cases’ of meningitis medics have ever seen could have been avoided

Layla-Rose Ermenekli, six, died at Royal Oldham Hospital, in Manchester, having suffered a cardiac arrest and multi organ failure brought on by meningococcal sepsis, an inquest heard.

Coroner Lisa Hashmi told the court that delays in the youngster being assessed meant a window of opportunity to stop the deadly cascade of sepsis spreading through her body was likely to have been missed.

And when she was finally seen, one hour and 40 minutes after she should have been, a “barely perfunctory” examination from a doctor saw a tell-tale rash misdiagnosed as a bruise, the coroner said.

The A&E clinician, Dr Harsha Rajanna, gave evidence to the inquest in Heywood over his role in Layla-Rose’s care that the coroner described as “completely unreliable” and said he had been “less than honest” with medical colleagues.

Parents Kirsty and Ricky Ermenekli, both 32, of Limeside, Oldham, spoke out after the narrative verdict was recorded.

Kirsty said: “I never thought I could be more heartbroken but today has confirmed I can be. I hurt more now knowing she could be here and it could have been prevented. That she was failed far more than I thought.

“It is so important (to recognise) the early signs, they call it the golden hour, before sepsis gets into the blood.

“Parents know best, completely nag even if you feel like a paranoid parent.

“Don’t feel pushed back just because they (doctors) are professional.

“We have been living a nightmare trying to continue running our lives for the other children.”

Kirsty, a beautician, is now part of a working group for meningitis and is campaigning to have the vaccination for the B strain of the disease free for all children.

Currently it costs £220 for children aged one or above.

Following the tragedy on February 4, last year a family friend said: "Doctors confirmed it was the worst case of meningitis that Royal Oldham Hospital has ever seen."

Factfile: Meningitis


  • High fever – over 37.5 degrees
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blotchy rash that won’t fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • Stiffness, especially in the neck
  • Drowsiness, irritability or a lack of energy
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Refusing to eat
  • Being agitated and not want to be picked up
  • A bulging soft spot on their head
  • Being floppy and inresponsive
  • An unusual, high-pitched cry
  • Having a stiff body


Mrs Hashmi said: “There was a catalogue of errors and omissions that have been candidly accepted by the trust.

“The death could have been avoided if action had been taken in the early stages of her arrival.”

Victoria McManus, acting on behalf of Pennine Acute NHS Trust, who run the hospital, said: “I would like to apologise to the family for the failings identified in the root cause analysis report.”

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