Child, 3, died after cardiac arrest while mum was kept on hold to 111 for hour as service swamped by coronavirus calls

A SICK three year old died after the mother was kept on hold by the deluged NHS 111 helpline for more than an hour, it's been reported.

An official log listing critical incidents involving youngsters during the coronavirus crisis reveals the child suffered a cardiac arrest at home and later died at hospital.

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News of the tragedy comes as it was revealed calls to the helpline have surged by 400 per cent since the outbreak of the deadly virus.

The free service – which offers urgent but non-emergency care advice –  has been swamped with calls from Brits since it took hold.

In another shocking case, a six-month-old baby died from sepsis and liver failure because the parents were worried the child might catch Covid-19 in hospital.

Both tragedies are among multiple incidents listed on an “incident log” drawn up by the North Thames Paediatric Network which has been seen by the Standard.

Some of the death were reportedly linked to delays in getting medical treatments over concerns children would be exposed to coronavirus.

Regarding the death of the three-year-old, the log states: 'Mum on phone to 111 for [more than] 60 minutes. Waiting for answer to call.

'Child arrested while mother on the phone. Mum had been to GP with seven-week history of headache and vomiting.'

It's been reported the six-month-old baby died in hospital from sepsis and “fulminant [sudden] liver failure”.

The log states: 'Unwell five days. Parents did not bring in as risk in hospitals of Covid.'

In light of the report health experts have said it is essential parents do not delay seeking medical help for their kids.


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A spokesperson for the NHS in London said: “Parents should not hesitate to seek medical support before their child’s conditions worsen, and although emergency services in London continue to step up their response to the pandemic, the NHS is still ensuring that people can access the services they need in as safe a way as possible, with capacity across the capital to treat all those needing urgent, emergency and other essential care.

“So while it remains important that the public support staff by staying safe and using the NHS wisely, they should be assured that local services are ready and able to treat all those who need it.”

The Sun Online has also contacted NHS England for comment but it's reported they have said " all serious incidents would be investigated."

Last month we reported how there were fears coronavirus cases may have been missed amid problems with the online symptom checker.

Britons concerned they may have the deadly bug have been urged to use the NHS 111 online service as the first port of call.

However, issues with the service highlighted today have prompted fears hundreds of Covid-19 cases may have been missed and traffic to the service hits record highs.

Vodafone, which provides the lines and handles the call traffic for the NHS 111 call centre, said it had doubled capacity to handle 2,400 calls simultaneously.

The call centre has experienced huge surges in the number of calls, hitting a peak of 1,100 simultaneously at one point – five times more than the peaks before the health emergency.



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