Britain's first child victim of Covid died after breathing tube was misplaced

The misplacement of a breathing tube was a factor in the death of the UK’s first child victim of Covid, a coroner has concluded.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab was 13 when he was rushed to King’s College Hospital in London with symptoms including fever, coughing and vomiting on March 26, 2020.

Due to hospital policies at the time, his family was not able to visit him in intensive care when he was moved there the following day.

Ismail, from Brixton in south-west London, died of acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by coronavirus pneumonia on March 30 – three days after he tested positive.

Images of his funeral, which the family were unable to attend as they were self-isolating, circulated widely in the early days of the Covid lockdown.

They showed his coffin being lowered into a grave by four people wearing white protective clothing, gloves and face masks.

Hours before Ismail’s death, an endotracheal tube (ET) used to help patients breathe was found to be in the wrong position and a decision was made by a consultant in paediatric intensive care to leave it and monitor him.

Senior Coroner Andrew Harris said: ‘I am satisfied that he (Ismail) would not have died when he did were it not for the tube misplacement.’

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