Alina Sarag, 15, Dies After Doctor Misdiagnoses Tuberculosis For ?Lovesickness,? Bulimia

  on May 15 2012 3:01 PM

Alina Sarag, a 15-year-old teenager from the UK died of tuberculosis after five doctors incorrectly diagnosed her with 'lovesickness' and bulimia, even though she had previously been treated for the disease.

Sarag was first treated for the disease in March 2009 after a routine screening at Golden Hillock School confirmed she had it.

She was discharged from a chest clinic in October after she told medics she felt better, reported the Huffington Post UK.

However, after a family trip to her native Pakistan in August 2010, Sarag once again fell ill. Her father suspected her tuberculosis had come back again.

I was watching my daughter get slowly worse and worse each day, said Sarag's father, Sultan according to the Huffington Post UK. I would spend hours rubbing her back, arms, head and neck to try and help ease her pain.

Sarag's father said he took his daughter to four different hospitals between August and October 2010. According to the BBC, Sultan feared his daughter's tuberculosis had reactivated.

I knew something was not right as she was in such a poor state but couldn't get anyone to listen to me, he said according to the BBC.

Sultan told the Birmingham Coroner's Court that his daughter vomited up to 10 times a day and was so weak at one point she resembled an old lady. She could only keep down baby food.

Sultan said during the inquest that doctors thought his daughter may have bulimia and referred her to see a psychiatrist or a spiritual healer.

Dr. Pandit at Highgate Medical Centre suggested Sarag was lovesick for a boy she met while vacationing with her family in Pakistan.

The doctor said to her 'Did you meet someone on holiday? Are you missing him?' said her father as he rehashed the conversation to the Birmingham Mail.

He said the diagnosis totally broke her heart.

She found it very distressing he was suggesting she was lovesick for a boy, he said according to the Birmingham Mail. The doctor suggested Sarag was faking her symptoms to get attention from her father.

No-one bothered listening to us, he said during the inquest, adding the possibility of mental health issues were absolute nonsense.

Sultan said he remembered specifically asking for another TB test for Alina to make sure it was not the cause of her illness, according to the Huffington Post UK.

Sultan said he called Dr. Pandit 50 times, but the doctor never returned any of his calls.

There was mass neglect, he said to the Birmingham Mail. The medical profession, as soon as they mess up they hide.

Sultan cited evidence at the inquest. Around 20 witnesses are expected to give a testimony.

Sarag passed away on January 6, 2011 after being admitted to the Birmingham Children's Hospital the prior evening.  

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday. 

Join the Discussion