Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

Six year-old dies of heart attack following "mix-up" at a hospital

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 08/08/2013

An inquest has been told that a 6 year-old with Down's syndrome might have avoided a heart attack if he had received better treatment.

Jack Adcock died of pneumonia after his admission to Leicester Royal Infirmary in February 2011.

Patient in shock

The Leicester Town Hall inquest was told by Birmingham Children's Hospital's Dr Gale Pearson that staff should have realised Jack was in shock and treated him with antibiotics.

Great Ormond Street Hospital's Sue Chapman, also an expert witness, noted the "inadequacies" of the youngster's care.

"For a child to be unresponsive when a needle is placed in them shows the child is very, very unwell," Ms Chapman said.

Wrongly reassured staff

The coroner, Catherine Mason, was told that Jack, from Glen Parva, was later seen sitting up and drinking. When Ms Chapman was asked if she believed this could have wrongly reassured staff, she said "yes".

A nurse with responsibilities for Jack's care was also questioned. She conceded that she had not done enough to care for the boy prior to his death.

The nurse admitted she had not properly completed Jack's paperwork and had not been active enough in raising concerns for his condition with senior staff.

When asked what her duties had been to the youngster on that day, she replied: "To take care of him. To raise all my concerns."

Patient's needs not met

"I should have escalated my concerns in a way that I would have been heard – I've learned a lot from this," the nurse admitted.

Ms Mason asked the clearly distraught nurse if she had met Jack's needs that day, to which she responded: "No".

Following a request from the medical staff's legal representatives for leave to seek further guidance, the coroner has now adjourned the inquest until an indeterminate date.

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