NHS chiefs are to investigate claims a teenager with severe stomach pain was sent away from a Blackburn GP surgery with painkillers, despite later being admitted to hospital with appendicitis.

Samantha Gibson, 16, visited Shadsworth Surgery after experiencing stomach pain for several days.

Dad Craig, 44, said a doctor at the practice put the problem down to ‘potential period pain’, and sent her away with painkillers.

But the pains continued, and Samantha had to be taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital the next day, where medics found she had a ‘textbook’ case of appendicitis, he said.

Samantha’s appendix later burst while she was in hospital, so she had it removed during a four day stay on the wards, the Garsden Avenue resident said.

He said: “The doctors at the hospital said she should have come in straight away because it was her appendix.”

Mr Gibson has submitted a complaint to the Shadsworth Road practice, which is run by Cornerstone Practices, and NHS England, and claimed Samantha ‘could have died’.

Samantha said: “I went to the doctor with stomach pain and he said that the pain was in the region of my appendix.

“He said if it gets worse to go back, but he put on the computer it was period pain.

“At the hospital they said it was a textbook case of appendicitis. It is a bit worrying, I suppose I could have died.

“The nurses at the hospital are brilliant though, I want to thank them.”

A spokesman for NHS England in Lancashire said: “We would like to express our concern to both Samantha and her family as clearly this will have been a distressing experience for them.

‘We have now received a complaint from the family regarding the incident and are commencing a complete investigation for them. Samantha’s family will be kept fully informed of the progress and result of the investigation.”

Katie Stanton, practice manager at Shadsworth Surgery, said: “We are sorry to hear that the patient is unhappy with the service; however we are not in a position to comment about an individual patient’s care due to patient confidentiality.

“We strive to provide high quality care to all our patients and encourage anyone who would like to discuss concerns to contact the practice.

The Lancashire Telegraph’s health expert, Dr Tom Smith said a burst appendix was ‘not good’, but he said that period pain could sometimes be confused with appendicitis.

He said: “Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between an appendix pain and an ovary pain.

“Things they look for are what’s called guarding and rebound tenderness and if she didn’t show those signs at the examination that could be an explanation.

“What normally happens is if a GP thinks it’s appendicitis they’ll send them for a scan at the hospital.

“There is normally time to wait and see with appendicitis, and if he asked her to come back it could be because she wasn’t showing signs.”

The procedure to remove Samantha’s appendix was successful, but she has since been back in hospital to be treated for an infection.