Thomas Olive
Thomas Olive Contributed

Chance to diagnose boy's fatal disease missed: Coroner

THE Queensland State Coroner has found there were a number of missed opportunities to potentially diagnose a Sunshine Coast boy who died in hospital from a rare medical condition.

Thomas Andrew Olive, 4, died from a rare metabolic gene mutation which caused a muscle-destroying disorder called rhabdomyolysis after being admitted to Nambour Hospital on August 25, 2010.

His parents, Andrew and Trudy Olive, claimed early symptoms that pointed to the muscle-destroying condition which killed their son had been missed despite the fact he had presented with symptoms on previous occasions.

Deputy State Coroner John Lock, in delivering his findings on Tuesday, found no one responsible for the boy's death and there was evidence of poor communication, but given the rarity and complexity of the boy's condition it was unlikely those missed opportunities could have lead to a different outcome.

He expressed his deep condolences to the Olive family saying they had done everything they could for their son.

"They have been actively advocating on behalf of their son so that changes can be made. His death in these circumstances was not in vain," he said.

"They clearly miss him.

"Through their efforts they have brought to the attention of the medical world in Australia this rare condition and how it can be treated and managed.

"I have found there were a number of missed opportunities where potentially a link could have been made that led to a diagnosis before Tom died, but this is not certain."

The coronial inquest, held earlier this year, heard on August 25, 2010, Tom was complaining of pain in his knee which then extended to other parts of the body.

The inquest heard he was lethargic and deteriorated rapidly becoming very red and then non-responsive.

The Queensland Ambulance Service was called and he was taken to Nambour Hospital, but deteriorated while in the emergency department and despite attempts, he could not be revived.

The inquest was told that the gene mutation, which caused the muscle-destroying disorder, has been associated with sudden death in young children in other parts of the world but it could have been the first time it had been seen in Australia.