A TODDLER died four days after being sent home with what doctors diagnosed as flu symptoms.

An inquiry has been launched after 19-month-old Hasaan Maroof was examined by three doctors before he was released from Newcastle General Hospital, Tyneside.

His mother, Nazia Sajawal, 18, of Shieldfield, Newcastle, claims doctors said her son was suffering cold and flu symptoms.

She said a junior doctor feared the youngster's symptoms gave cause for concern, but was overruled by a senior staff member.

Hasaan was taken to hospital when he had difficulty breathing after being diagnosed with flu by the family doctor days earlier.

He was examined, although his breathing improved, and an x-ray was taken of his chest.

But his mother said a junior doctor on the children's ward examined Hasaan and could not understand why he had breathing problems or why his colour had changed. She asked for a second opinion from a senior doctor.

Nazia said: "He examined Hasaan and said he was absolutely fine. He said he felt my son had cold and flu and nothing serious to make them think they would have to keep him in overnight."

The next day, the youngster stopped breathing and became unconscious. His mother used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to try to revive her son until paramedics arrived.

Back at the hospital, it took 13 minutes for doctors to start his heart and he was admitted to intensive care, but died three days later.

A spokesman for Newcastle General Hospital said yesterday: "An investigation is ongoing, and the incident has been reported to the coroner's office as it was a sudden death."