Sophie Burgess

Sophie Burgess

8-year-old British woman who almost became a victim of medical negligence
Country: Great Britain

Biography of Sophie Burgess

Sophie Burgess is a British girl who almost became a victim of medical negligence at the age of 8. On March 3, 2013, her mother, Sam Burgess, brought her to Ipswich Hospital, believing that she had tonsillitis. However, Sophie's condition quickly deteriorated upon arrival at the clinic. Sam recalls, "I knew something was wrong. She was struggling to breathe. I told the receptionist four times that Sophie was getting worse, but I was told that her case was not urgent and that there were people in worse condition."

Eventually, a pediatrician was called, and within 20 minutes, Sophie was rushed to the operating department. She was diagnosed with tracheitis, a life-threatening condition in which the trachea swells, causing serious breathing difficulties. Sophie was placed on assisted lung ventilation, and her condition was closely monitored. After an hour, Sam and her husband Michael were unable to reach Sophie, who had stopped responding. Her life was hanging by a thread. Sam says, "My little girl nearly died, and I am so angry at the doctors. I don't want to think about what could have happened. This story could have had a very different ending."

Sophie spent 48 hours in the intensive care unit before being discharged home, where she celebrated her 8th birthday. Sam filed an official complaint against the hospital, and a full investigation is currently underway. She was informed that the registrar's activities have been suspended pending further details. Sam is not only dissatisfied with the registrar's actions but also commends the emergency medical department's work. She says, "One doctor told me that if we had been at Riverside Clinic, we might not have had enough time to get the girl to the operating department." Burgess adds, "We were so close to losing Sophie."

James Waites, a data processing specialist, responded to Burgess's case by stating that they cannot comment on specific cases of medical care due to patient confidentiality. However, he invited patients who feel that their service does not meet the high standards they strive for to contact them to learn more. Waites emphasized that they take any complaints seriously and conduct thorough investigations, informing the parents of the results. He confirmed that one employee has been suspended pending the outcome of their investigation.

It is worth mentioning that in November 2012, a more tragic incident occurred when a six-week-old baby died from pneumonia after a doctor from Whittington Hospital in North London made an incorrect conclusion about the child's condition based on a one-minute phone call. The medical coroner investigating the case found that Axel died as a result of the doctor's "completely inadequate" decision.