Experts give evidence at baby's inquest

MEDICAL experts spotted signs of sickness in baby Luke Day more than 17 hours before he died after contracting MRSA, an inquest heard today.The new born was found to have a low temperature, low glucose levels and was heard grunting, which is a recognised sign of an unwell baby, just hours after he was born at Ipswich Hospital.

MEDICAL experts spotted signs of sickness in baby Luke Day more than 17 hours before he died after contracting MRSA, an inquest heard today.

The new born was found to have a low temperature, low glucose levels and was heard grunting, which is a recognised sign of an unwell baby, just hours after he was born at Ipswich Hospital.

However, although attempts were made to warm him up with a heater a paediatric review was not actioned. Around 17 hours and 20 minutes later he was pronounced dead.

Doctors had spent 30 minutes trying to resuscitate Luke, once believed to be the country's youngest victim of the super bug MRSA.

It is two years since the hospital came under siege when he died around 36 hours after being born on February 2, 2005.

Witnesses, independent experts and members of Luke's family gathered at Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich, today for the first day of the inquest.

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There has already been an inquiry into the death which found MRSA may not have been the cause.

It was a report from paediatric pathologist Michael Bamford, now retired, which outlined the timings leading up to the death.

It said Luke was “completely well” when he was born despite his mother Glynis Day having an eclamptic fit.

The report said: “Following delivery at 6.53am Luke was examined and no abnormalities were found. He was attended to by nursing staff and mother and there were no significant concerns.

At 2.10am the following day he was noticed to be grunting and his temperature was checked and found low. His blood glucose was also low. He took a bottle feed well and was put under a heater.”

Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean said: “There was clear evidence at 2.10 that the baby was unwell and it was not recognised as a trigger for a paediatric review.”

A report from the hospital agreed the people providing care did not communicate well.

Luke was kept under observation and three hours before he died his breathing and temperature were recorded as okay. However at 6.55pm a senior midwife spotted he was not responding and he was transferred for resuscitation.

A second report from Doctor Bamford said he had been told by a microbiologist that the cause of death was MRSA which was backed up by the post mortem report.

Author of the report Marion Malone a consultant paediatric pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital ruled out Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as a cause of death as she gave evidence at the inquest.

She said despite conflicting medical views since her post mortem her conclusion was still that the bug was the cause of death.

The inquest heard how she found MRSA in three sites on baby Luke.

Also giving evidence was consultant microbiologist Doctor Peter Wilson from University College London, he was asked to give an independent opinion and wrote a report published in June 2005.

He explained how easy it was for MRSA to spread but said his initial view was that the death was due to SIDS and that the bug could have spread during resuscitation or post mortem.

Mr Dean opened the inquest by offering his condolences to the family including parents Kevin Fenton and Glynis Day, both of Woodbridge.

He said the family had themselves written a list of questions that they hoped to be answered during the proceedings.

The inquest continues.

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