A LACK of continuous care for a young girl who died from multi-organ failure after contracting herpes played a role in her death, a coroner has found.
Bridget Klingberg, like most parents did not get too anxious about the flu-like symptoms that her 10 year old daughter Briony started to exhibit. Afterall, kids pick up germs at school all the time and get sick and get over it. When Briony totally stopped eating and drinking though, her parents became more concerned.
‘She didn’t eat her tea, Briony loved her food so we know she wasn’t well’ Bridget Klingberg told ABC. Her parents took her to a GP, Dr. Christopher Say who saw her and prescribed her some antibiotics and sent her home. ‘We never went home with a diagnosis, it was all a guess.’
Bridget continued ‘Everyone kept sending us home so we thought she wouldn’t be that sick.’ Dr. Christopher Say saw Briony two days in a row, on a Wednesday and Thursday and then told her mother to bring Briony back on Monday. He believed that it was a simple throat infection.
The same night she saw Dr. Say she went to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide. Doctors did detect ulcers in the back of her throat but it was the same thing, they sent her home with some medication citing infection.
Mrs. Klingberg took her daughter back to the hospital when Briony’s condition worsened, unfortunately before they even made it through the doors Briony suffered a seizure in the parking lot of the hospital and died. It has since been discovered that the sores on the back of her throat were actually cold sores, and she was suffering from the herpes simplex virus which caused her organs to fail.
There has been an inquest into what exactly happened and if there is any fault on the doctors that saw her before her death. Dr. Say said at the inquest ‘I just feel real regret I didn’t identify the cause of her illness. I’m reminded of Briony and her illness everytime I see a child – anytime I look into anyones throat’ he finished. The Doctor claims he had never seen cold sores in the back of someone’s throat which is what led him to misdiagnose Briony.
Most HSV-1 infections occur in fancy and childhood and is transmitted through saliva. Back in 2014 a newborn died from the virus which caused complications. She got the virus from a single kiss. More and more parents are speaking out about the dangers of kissing babies, especially on the lips for this reason. Most of the time the virus is harmless except for unsightly cold sores, but it can be the cause of tragedy mostly in young children and babies.