Three-year-old B.C. girl dies shortly after being sent home by hospital
Published Saturday, February 18, 2017 5:29PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:58PM EST
The B.C. family of a three-year-old who died of what appears to be pneumonia says that a local hospital did not take the girl’s case seriously enough.
“She was (a) very energetic and active, playful baby,” Nimrat Gill’s mother, Balraj Gill, said in an emotional interview with CTV Vancouver on Friday.
Nimrat died on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Abbotsford Regional Hospital during her second visit to the facility in two days.
The little girl started feeling sick on Sunday, Feb. 5, her mother said, developing a cough and other cold symptoms in the morning. By Sunday night, her condition had dramatically worsened, Balraj said.
“At nighttime, she can’t sleep, so I was holding her in my lap,” Balraj said.
Around 1:30 a.m., the family decided to take the child to the hospital.
In the Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s emergency room, Balraj says that she and her husband were told to go home and treat their daughter with Tylenol and Advil every four hours.
“We were satisfied if they check her and they say she’s okay,” Balraj said. "They say she doesn't have any infection or anything, it's only just a regular cold."
But on Monday night, the child began vomiting. Early Tuesday morning, Nimrat was taken back to the hospital.
"Within five hours, she was gone," Balraj said.
Before the child passed away, she was given an X-ray and blood tests. Her mother noticed that she was becoming increasingly unresponsive.
"She was saying to me, 'Let's go home, mama. Let's go home,’” Balraj said.
Balraj said that she was told that her daughter’s worsening condition could be from the bloodwork or a fever.
"I believed them because it's their daily job," Balraj said.
Balraj told CTV Vancouver that a doctor was dismissive of her concerns. When the mother noticed Nimrat’s skin begin to take on a bluish hue, she says that no one seemed perturbed.
Then, a short time later, hospital staff swarmed into the little girl’s room.
"They made a code call, and after that the whole hospital was there," Balraj said.
But it was too late.
Two days after Nimrat’s death, Balraj said their family doctor received X-rays confirming that the child had a severe case of pneumonia that caused further infections. The family is now wondering why the child didn’t receive closer attention when her case was so serious, and why trained medical professionals were unable to recognize the urgency of the case until it was too late.
As the family prepares to say goodbye to Nimrat at a funeral this weekend, they've decided to file a formal complaint in the girl's case.
“They have to be careful about kids, because they can’t say anything,” Balraj said.
B.C.'s health minister said he and the government send the family their sincere condolences, and that a patient safety review is underway. The Fraser Health Authority says the review will look into the care Nimrat received and her cause of death.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber