A CORONER has accused two Birmingham GPs of gross failure for failing to spot that Sparkhill schoolgirl Alina Sarag was dying of TB.
Aidan Cotter criticised the doctors at Highgate Medical Centre for not realising that the 15-year-old had tuberculosis.
The Birmingham coroner gave a verdict that although the teenager died of natural causes, neglect by the GPs had contributed to the death.
Mr Cotter is now writing to health professionals to warn the disease is a serious risk to the city’s population – and that TB tests should ALWAYS be carried out if suspected.
The inquest heard how Alina, who lived with her family in Benton Road, Sparkbrook, made nine visits to her two GPs and also saw numerous doctors at four Birmingham hospitals.
But TB was only diagnosed just hours before she died in January last year.
Alina caught tuberculosis during an outbreak at her school, Golden Hillock, in April 2009.
It was diagnosed as the latent form of the disease by Birmingham Chest Clinic and after a three month course of drugs, she was given the all clear by doctors there, who assumed she had recovered.
But after a family visit to Pakistan in August 2010 she fell ill and over the next four months Alina visited her GPs numerous times, as well as in-patient stays at Heartlands, Birmingham Children’s, City and Sandwell Hospitals.
Mr Cotter said not one of the doctors had tested her for active TB, with all of them diagnosing gastro-enteritis as the most probable cause of her symptoms.
But after a post mortem examination revealed the schoolgirl had “one of the worst cases of TB the pathologist had ever seen”, he singled out her two GPs, Dr Sharad Pandit and Dr Khalid Iqbal, for criticism.