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Nottingham teen ‘loved by everyone’ died suddenly after playing football with friend

today9 July 2022 1

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A Nottingham teen “loved by everyone” sadly died after a sudden cardiac arrest. Kellum Thomas, 13, passed away on June 9, 2021 at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, leaving a heartbroken family behind.

He had previously suffered a cardiac arrest and had been fitted with a monitoring device but this had not worked for 18 months after the batteries ran out. It was replaced four months before he died. Doctors also decided to double his medication in March 2021, but the prescription did not arrive until after he had died.

It was heard in Nottingham Coroner’s Court that Kellum had been playing football with a friend, and when he got home his mum, Jodie Wilson, “heard a bang” and found him collapsed on the floor. in her findings, Coroner Elizabeth Didcock explained that Jodie “immediately started CPR and called for an ambulance, with a paramedic arrived promptly.”

Despite resuscitation attempts, Kellum was unable to be revived and pronounced dead at 9:37pm that night. Kellum has suffered from a previous out of hospital cardiac arrest in July 2016, where he was swimming and suddenly felt unwell. He had to be resuscitated on that occasion.

Read more: Drink driving doctor who blamed betel nut for smell of booze is suspended

Following the incident, Kellum begun receiving care from Birmingham Children’s Hospital in conjunction with the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Over the years Kellum underwent a variety of tests to help determine his condition, with a working theory of Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia being adopted (CPVT), but not confirmed.

Kellum was referred to Doctor Vinny Bhode, at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, by The Nottingham University Hospital Trust, due to Dr Bhode being a specialist. Although Kellum, was still seen by Dr Thacker at the NUH who has since retired, but Dr Balmuri who was in the same department was at court to answer questions regarding the NUH’s role in Kellum’s care.

Dr Bhode met Kellum on a number of occasions and said he “knew him very well.” Following his cardiac arrest in 2016, Kellum was fitted with a cardiac monitoring device which the court heard was the “best way to monitor carefully his heartbeats and rhythm.”

Data from the device showed clusters of abnormalities, however, there was no data for 18 months between 19 September 2019 and 16 February 2021 due to the device’s battery running out and needing to be replaced. When asked why the replacement took so long, Dr Bhode said: “I think it is to do with capacity and logistics, as we have one person doing these types of procedures in the whole Midlands area.”

He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic was also a factor in the delays. Speaking to Dr Bhode, Kellum’s uncle, Karl Thomas, said: “That’s not going to bring back a 13 year old boy, that’s not an acceptable answer., you have to have systems and structures in place.”

Dr Bhode also revealed for that non urgent cases under 16, such as Kellum, there is “a waiting list currently of over a year for the whole Midlands.” However, this was not the only delay that Kellum faced in regards to his care as following an appointment with Dr Bhode in March 2021, it was decided that his “medication was to go up from 25mg once a day to 25mg twice a day as Kellum had grown since the original start date.”

Following the March clinic, a letter from the hospital was written in April, signed by Dr Bhode in May before eventually reaching the Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust on June 16. Due to this delay Kellum was not able to receive his increased dose of medication, and his grandma Kerry Thomas added: “The prescription didn’t come through until after Kellum had died.

In response to the delays, Coroner Didcock stated: “At the moment I do not have anything before me that helps me to understand what will happen in the future. It’s not something I would necessarily like to just leave to you, I think it’s a service issue.

“Kellum has gone for a pro-longed period of time without his device working, it’s a pro-longed period of time to wait for someone in Kellum’s situation. I’m struggling to ignore that as a concern.”

The post-mortem examination found that Kellum’s heart was structurally normal, and pathologist Professor Andreas Marnerides said: “the heart was normally built, was normally structured, but we know was not functioning normally.” Family members at the court shared their concerns about Kellum’s thyroids which appeared enlarged and also felt that more should have been done to help Kellum, including a different cardiac device.

Dr Bhode added: “Going back in time, we didn’t have enough evidence to put in a more aggressive device.” Coroner Didcock accepted Dr Bhode’s evidence that the “decision was considered carefully” and that fitting the stronger device did have risks and could have led to “inappropriate shocks.”

It was ruled that the cause of death was sudden cardiac death in childhood, with the subsequent condition being CPTV. The family had also raised concerns that an advised 24 hour ECG had not been carried out on Kellum, and a suggestion made by another doctor in a letter for a MRI was not taken on board as Dr Bhode, said: “We did not feel the MRI at the time was necessary.”

The coroner described the death as “a sudden unexpected tragic event” and shared that she does “not think that his death was predictable.” Kellum’s dad, Perris Thomas, described the experience as “traumatic” for his family and wants communication to be improved from the hospital.

He said: “The main thing I have taken today is hopefully it benefits other children, patients and parents, and they (the hospitals) speed up the process of medication, diagnosis’s and things like that.” Karl added: “He (Kellum) was loved by everyone.”

Following the evidence given in court, Coroner Didcock is writing a letter to the chief executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital as a prevention of future death accord. She says she is doing this due to the issues the service has with capacity and waiting times.

The chief executive will then have 56 days to respond to the coroner and explain what they plan to do about her concerns.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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