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Filler A Memorable Patient

My most fortunate mistake

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 11 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4588
  1. Andrew Riordan, consultant in paediatric infectious diseases and immunology, Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  1. andrew.riordan{at}

It was my first day on call as a paediatric registrar and nearly my last—I missed a case of meningococcal disease. A concerned looking doctor in the emergency department came to find me, and being new to the hospital I didn’t know she was the department’s consultant. She took me to see a toddler, saying, “This is the rash we see with meningococcal disease.” Emily, who was sitting on her mother’s lap, smiled at me. She had a fever of …

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