An investigation was launched today after a school boy with a fractured skull was sent home from hospital with painkillers – TWICE.
Matthew King, 13, fell off his bike and smashed his head and was rushed to the A&E department of Sunderland Royal Hospital.
He was kept in overnight but his family say he wasn’t given and X-ray and they were told he had concussion and given painkillers.
Matthew was sent home the following morning but despite being taken back to hospital he was released again and was at home over a weekend in agony.
Doctors finally spotted his life-threatening fractured skull and Matthew, of Grangetown, North Yorks, was rushed into surgery.
His grandmother, Pauline King, 60, said: “We all feel so angry at what’s happened. My grandson had to have emergency surgery because of this.
“We were told he had a bad concussion and we needed to keep giving him the painkillers.
“We don’t understand why this wasn’t picked up on, not just once – but twice.
“I’d hate to think of anyone else going through what has happened to our family in the past few days.”
Matthew had been playing with friends at a skate park when he fell off his bike and his friends dialled 999.
He was discharged from hospital the next day with painkillers but mum Claire became increasingly concerned after he appeared no better and was vomiting.
The frantic mother contacted the hospital and an ambulance was sent for the teen, where he was admitted back into a ward for a few hours for observation.
But doctors decided he was well enough to be discharged and he was once again told to keep taking painkillers.
Throughout the following day Matthew was left “writhing in agony”, crying on the settee of the home he shares with Claire and brother Mitchell, 10.
By Monday the family were desperately worried and contacted the NHS helpline who sent a paramedic out to the house.
It was only then medics finally picked up on the fracture and decided the teen needed to be sent straight to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for emergency surgery.
He is now slowly recovering after the operation and spent his 13th birthday in hospital last Wednesday.
Yesterday his family have said they had been left distraught by the lack of care he received.
A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “We will look into the circumstances of Matthew’s case.
“Diagnoses are clinical decisions taken at specific times on the evidence available and are, of course, taken in the best interests of the patient.
“We would like to pass on our good wishes for Matthew’s speedy recovery.”