Boy, 11, died of heart condition after trainee doctor Googled his symptoms

Telegraph reporters
clayton hague-winterbottom - Cavendish Press

An 11-year-old boy died hours after a junior doctor failed to spot his enlarged heart on a hospital X-ray and instead used Google to diagnose him, an inquest heard.

Clayton Hague-Winterbottom would likely have survived if the size of his heart had been noted by Dr Rida Fatima and a different treatment put in place, cardiologist Dr Timothy Gray told the hearing.

Assistant coroner Lisa Judge has ruled his death was contributed to by neglect.

The youngster was admitted to The Royal Oldham Hospital on March 31 last year, three days after he was correctly diagnosed with a chest infection by his GP.

Despite his enlarged heart being picked up on an X-ray and a medical history that included epilepsy and autism, Dr Fatima used Google to research his condition. After learning of the GP's chest infection diagnosis, she focused on examining the boy's lungs.

Clayton was discharged without any blood tests being taken and collapsed at home just 40 hours later. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

The cause of Clayton's death was found to be cardiac failure and pneumonia, contributed to by enlarged chambers of the heart.

At the inquest in Heywood, near Rochdale, Dr Fatima, who is now working at a different health trust in Luton, Bedfordshire, broke down in tears as she apologised to Clayton's family for the error.

She said: "I can only apologise for not noticing the heart - I am so sorry. My conclusion was Clayton likely had an ongoing chest infection. I didn't specifically look at the heart but I did look at his lungs."

Ms Judge recorded a verdict of death by natural causes but said it was contributed to by neglect and "gross failures" in his medical attention. She said: "There were a number of things that should have been done differently."