Six year old boy in emergency drama after having a severe reaction to a peanut sweet while trick or treating

Princess of Wales Hospital, in Ely.

Princess of Wales Hospital, in Ely. - Credit: Archant

A father rushed his six year old son to hospital carrying him in his arms after the boy suffered a severe allergic reaction to a peanut sweet while out trick or treating only to discover there is a half hour time slot when there is no emergency health care in Ely.

The family ran to get help when he was gripped with crippling stomach cramps, his eyes and lips became swollen, his breathing became heavy and laboured and he scratched uncontrollably as his skin became covered in a thick rash.

The family arrived at the Cathedral Medical Centre a few minutes too late missing the 6pm closing time.

However, it was then too early for help from the neighbouring Prince of Wales Hospital’s evening emergency cover which starts at 6.30pm.

The boy’s grandmother Dilly Bradford said: “It was lucky his airwaves did not close down. We had all been trick or treating at nearby American Park when he tucked into his goody bag to have a sweet.

“Within seconds he had a reaction. His dad picked him up and ran to the hospital.

“The medical centre was shut but the hospital service did not begin until later. We discovered in a very traumatic way that there is a gap in the service so had to wait until a doctor came on duty.”

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The receptionist on duty advised them to call 111 as they needed to get themselves booked into the system to be seen by a doctor but the family realised it was more serious than a routine out of hours health call and instead dialled 999, she said.

“It then took around an hour for an ambulance to arrive from Huntingdon,” Mrs Bradford said.

“In the meantime a doctor administered steroids and anti histamine when he came on duty but it made our grandson sick.

“Luckily the ambulance arrived and took him to Addenbrooke’s where he stayed until midnight.

“In the dark, while out trick or treating, it is easy for a child to dip into their goody bag and pull out a sweet without knowing what is in it.

“I think there are a lot of important lessons here of always dialling 999 if you think someone is having an allergic reaction and working out why there is a gap in the health service in Ely. I would also ask people to not give out nut based treats at Halloween.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said they were commissioned to run the minor injuries unit from 8.30am to 6pm.

Dr Wharton, medical director for Urgent Care Cambridgeshire, said they were commissioned to treat patients at the Prince of Wales Hospital from 6.30pm.