A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy who was choking on a pound coin was turned away by a hospital who refused to treat him because they “had not been told” he was coming in.
Little Alfie had to spend 90 minutes in a car struggling to breathe and losing consciousness as his mother Jessica Toms, 23, desperately tried to get him to emergency surgery.
A 999 operator had told her to rush to her nearest hospital with a minor injuries unit, which was Lymington New Forest Hospital in Lymington, Hants just five minutes from their home.
But when she got there they told her Alfie would need to be taken to Southampton General Hospital, Hants, instead.
However, they got stuck in traffic and the journey, which would typically take around 40 minutes, ended up being an hour and a half.
His injuries were so serious he was treated within 15 minutes and underwent emergency surgery.
She said: “When we arrived at Lymington New Forest Hospital, a member of staff said they had not been told about us coming and said they could not treat him because they only deal with minor injuries.
“I was really upset, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I fail to understand how and why a hospital can turn away a choking child.
“She told me I had to go to Southampton General Hospital. I realised we didn’t have time to argue and just thought ‘we have to get him to hospital now’.
“When we went into A&E they asked me ‘why did you drive here?’ A triage nurse checked him over and said she had a feeling the coin was stuck because he was dribbling and because he wasn’t shutting his mouth properly.
“Within 15 minutes he was being x-rayed. Doctors told me he had to have surgery, they said they would use a tube and put it down his breathing tube to get it out.
“Because I was a mum they thought I was over-reacting, but staff at Southampton told me he should have been brought in an ambulance.”