Parents Call For Lessons To Be Learnt After Premature Baby Suffered Lack Of Oxygen To Brain
The devastated parents whose premature baby died at just four-months-old when failures in his care led to his brain being starved of oxygen have called for lessons to be learnt after receiving a settlement from the NHS Trust responsible for his care.
The baby boy was born 12 weeks prematurely by caesarean at Royal Derby Hospital on 25th September 2009. He was initially looked after on the neonatal unit at Royal Derby Hospital where he was receiving good care and making excellent progress.
In January 2010 he was transferred to the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to undergo planned minor surgery for a heart condition. He suffered complications during the operation due to the incorrect ventilation being used which led to him being starved of oxygen causing irreparable brain damage.
His parents, who wish to remain anonymous, from Derbyshire, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what happened to their son as they had concerns and unanswered questions about his care.
The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust which run the Glenfield Hospital admitted that there had been negligent failures in the baby’s care which had caused his death. The family have agreed to an undisclosed settlement.
The NHS Trust admitted that it was negligent and substandard care to attempt to ventilate the baby using a Venturi device, and that if the baby had been properly ventilated, his surgery would have been successful and his death would have been avoided.
Expert Opinion“Despite being born prematurely, he was making good progress and his parents had become more positive about his condition and were making plans for their future together as a family.
“It was not until we obtained independent expert evidence that his parents found out what had actually happened to him, in that during his operation he had been placed on a ventilator that was not suitable to be used with a baby that was so tiny.
“Losing their child after believing he would soon be coming home, left them totally heartbroken and we have been working with them and the NHS Trust to agree a settlement which will allow them to access the help and support they need to overcome their grief. Nothing can bring him back but the family hope that lessons will be learnt by the Trust to prevent other similar situations in the future.”
Hayley Smith - Solicitor
His parents said: “We took our son to Glenfield Hospital for a minor operation to close a duct that normally closes at birth. We put our trust in the medical staff but our lives came crashing down on that day, which has permanently changed us.
“A happy, content baby left us for the operating theatre but he returned to us unable to respond to our voices, relying on machinery to keep him alive. Over the following week, we watched him fade away and had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn his life support off.
“The truth about what happened to him was kept from us, even after numerous requests, it is so important to have the truth in order to grieve properly. We had our suspicions but knew that the only way to get to the truth was to approach a medical negligence law firm.
“For such an important task we choose Irwin Mitchell. They were able to get the truth and negotiated a settlement. He was a gorgeous boy full of character and determination. Five years on all we have now are precious memories of our much loved son. Our family will never quite feel complete without him. Lessons need to be learnt, it is bad enough that he died by their negligence but this was compounded by our long struggle to get to the truth.”