The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Northland toddler from meningococcal disease hours after being seen by a GP could be concluded today.
The 14-month-old girl from Kerikeri became unwell on October 14 and was taken to an after-hours GP service, operated by the Te Tai Tokerau PHO at Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa. The toddler died early the next day and an investigation by a "sentinel event" team was launched into the circumstances surrounding the case, including the GP's management.
Sentinel event team leader Kyle Eggleton, who is Northland clinical director for primary health care, said the team will meet today to go through the information that had been gathered during the investigation.
Dr Eggleton said a report would then be written on the team's findings in the next week or so, which would then be sent to the various parties for comment and feedback. He said a decision would be made after that on what from the report could be made public.
Dr Eggleton said some aspects of the findings would be made public, but some private aspects would not.
There have been no new meningococcal cases in Northland since the toddler died from the meningococcal B strain.
Northland District Health Board medical officer of health Jonathan Jarman said the disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose and it was important that parents seek medical advice if their child became unwell.
"Initially, it can present like the flu or a tummy bug, but the difference is meningococcal disease can get worse very quickly. Some people do not even get sick when they catch the bug. However, a small number rapidly develop invasive meningococcal disease," Dr Jarman said.
"If your child is sick, take them to the doctor. And if they don't get better, or if you are worried, go back to the doctor."
There have been three meningococcal cases in the region so far this year, the lowest since 1991.
Last year, three people died from meningococcal disease in Northland, including Whangarei 18-year-old Ben Brown, who died after being twice sent home by medics at Whangarei Hospital.