Wrong diagnoses causes the death of a two month old girl

Wrong diagnoses causes the death of a two month old girl

The parents of Nailah Ally, a two-month-old girl who died from necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and a narrowing of the intestine, have received an undisclosed compensation from the hospital trust after medics initially interpreted her symptoms as a cow’s milk intolerance.

Nailah was diagnosed with NEC shortly after her birth in October 2019, and also had a hole in her heart during the pregnancy.

Nailah was taken to the hospital on December 28, 2019, after her stomach continued to swell and was treated for suspected sepsis.

However, doctors did not perform a barium enema test to investigate the possibility that her intestine was damaged due to NEC.

Nailah’s parents, Laila Tobota and Emmanuel Ally, instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care at East Surrey Hospital under Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

An NHS investigation revealed that a consultant believed Nailah might have had an intolerance to cow’s milk and changed the formula she was feeding on.

She was discharged from the hospital on January 7, 2020, with a follow-up appointment three days later. The next day, Nailah went into septic shock, and an X-ray showed a suspected perforated bowel.

Her condition deteriorated, and she died on January 13, 2020.

A root cause analysis investigation report found that there was a failure to perform a barium enema test, which could have detected Nailah’s narrowed intestine.


The report attributed the failure to poor documentation, poor face-to-face handovers between doctors, and poor ownership of Nailah’s case by one named consultant.

The Trust paid an undisclosed out-of-court settlement to Nailah’s parents to help them access the specialist support they required following her death, but it did not admit liability.

Emily Mansfield, the medical negligence expert representing the family, said that Nailah’s case highlights the potential consequences of poor communication between doctors and families, as well as the dangers of sepsis.

Laila Tobota said that despite it being three years since Nailah’s death, the hurt and pain they feel is still as raw as it was then.

She also expressed her gratitude to the heart surgeons who helped Nailah but felt that some staff were dismissive of their needs after Nailah was transferred.

The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has been approached for comment.

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