A 16-month-old boy who died of a rare infection may have lived if he had been given an injection earlier, a coroner said yesterday. Coroner Paul Kelly said the outcome might have been different, but added: 'No one can be certain, however, why the injection of antibiotics was not administered before 11.30am [the day before he died].' The coroner said that since the underlying cause of Anson Ng Kwan-yin's death, meningo infection, proved fatal, he would record a verdict of death by natural causes. The Canadian-born baby was admitted to the accident and emergency department of United Christian Hospital at 1.08am on January 25 last year suffering fever and convulsions. The boy's father, Ng Wai-kwong, told the court no doctor examined his son again until 5am and the nurse who was responsible for taking the boy's urine sample forgot to save some for bacterial culture analysis, which would have helped diagnose his illness. Another urine sample was taken six hours later but his condition was going rapidly downhill by 12.30pm, by which time no medication could save him. Kwan-yin died at 3.38am the following morning because of complications. Paediatrician Dr Patricia Ip Lai-sheung said the boy was thought to be in generally good condition when he was admitted and doctors did not conduct frequent checks. She admitted a nurse forgot to save some of the urine sample for bacterial culture analysis. In addition, the disease was not detected promptly because it was so rare - only three cases were reported in Hong Kong last year. A Hospital Authority spokesman said doctors would be more alert to the disease in future.