5-year-old dies after surgeon refuses to see her for being late

A British 5-year-old died after she and her mother were turned away from a surgeon because they were minutes late, according to a coroner.

Ellie-May Clark, who suffered from asthma, was offered an emergency appointment at a clinic in Newport, Wales, after she was wheezing in January 2015.

Her mother Shanice Clark, who had recently given birth to another child, was given 25 minutes to get to the Grange Clinic, where Dr. Joanne Rowe had a policy of refusing to see those who were 10 minutes or more late, Wales Online reported Monday.

The parent said she and her daughter arrived five minutes late for a 5 p.m. slot, but had to spend time waiting in line before speaking to a receptionist sometime shortly after the 5:10 p.m. deadline.

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Ellie-May was taken home after being told to come back the next day, though her condition got much worse that night, when she began to turn blue.

The young girl died shortly after she was rushed to a local hospital.

Rowe had previously received notice of Ellie-May’s “life-threatening” asthma but did not look at her notes before she refused to see her, an inquest into the death heard.

Dr. Rowe reportedly told the court that the receptionist suggested telling the Clarks to come back in the morning, and that she agreed.

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Coroner Wendy James said that Ellie-May died from her asthma and that “the opportunity to provide potentially life-saving treatment was missed.”

“From the evidence before me, it is not possible for me to determine with certainty whether an earlier intervention would have altered the outcome for Ellie, but nonetheless Ellie should have been seen by a GP that day and she was let down by the failures in the system.”

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