– With AAP
1. Teen “sent home” with Panadol less than 24 hours before meningococcal death.
A Central Coast teenager’s grieving mother said her daughter was sent home from hospital with over-the-counter painkillers less than 24 hours before she died of meningococcal disease.
On Tuesday Mischelle Rhodes, 19, went to Gosford Hospital after experiencing a fever.
“The hospital did some blood tests, gave her Nurofen, gave her Panadol and sent her home,” her mother Anjini Rhodes told Seven News.
“They said she was okay.”
But Mischelle’s conditioned worsened and the next morning she returned to hospital – only to be told that it was too late to save her.
“And (Mischelle) told me, ‘Doctors told me I’m going to die,” Anjini told Seven News.
“I thought she was going to be okay.”
The tragedy follows the death of a 38-year-old Central Coast woman from the W strain of meningococcal disease in early August.
However, the strain that claimed Mischelle’s life has not been confirmed and authorities say there is “no known link” between the two cases.
Ms Rhodes begged people to be aware of the symptoms and insistent on treatment.
“Don’t leave hospital till everything has been looked at – all the blood tests,” she said.
“It just took my beautiful girl away so fast.”
Central Coast Local Health District’s Peter Lewis shared his sympathies in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the family of this young woman at this tragic time.”
He said that meningococcal disease is very uncommon in NSW, but that anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical help immediately.
A total of 41 cases have been reported in NSW this year, according to NSW Health. Nearly half (19) were the B strain, while 11 were the W strain.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, a rash, dislike of bright lights, nausea and vomiting.
Meningococcal bacteria does not easily spread between people, nor do they survive well outside the human body.