|Parents' Invention A Child Life
A new online diagnosis tool has been created to help
doctors and nurses accurately diagnose illnesses in
The launch of the Isabel system comes after doctors
failed to spot a flesh-eating bug in a three-year-old
Isabel Maude was wrongly diagnosed by her GP and doctors in
Accident & Emergency as having only chicken pox.
In fact she was displaying the potentially fatal symptoms
of Toxic Shock Syndrome and Necrotising Fasciitis, also known
as the flesh-eating bug, which are rare but known
complications of chicken pox.
She was transferred to hospital with multiple organ failure
in April 1999 and spent four weeks in intensive care.
Isabel, now six, survived the ordeal but will need further
Her parents Jason and Charlotte Maude decided not to sue
the NHS over her treatment.
Instead they worked with the paediatric consultant at St
Mary's Hospital in Paddington, who helped save Isabel's life,
to develop the online diagnosis system.
Developed by The Isabel Medical Charity, it uses pattern
recognition software to search for information in paediatric
By typing in initial patient symptoms, clinicians can see a
set of possible diagnoses within seconds.
Isabel's mother, Charlotte, said to blame doctors for what
had happened to her daughter would have "achieved nothing",
but "if Isabel saves just one child's life, it has all been
She and her husband, who quit his job to help develop
Isabel and raise funds for the charity, are now hoping there
will soon be an adult version of the