Two babies die from sudden infant death syndrome within hours of each other, inquests hear

PUBLISHED: 16:42 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 20:50 27 October 2020

Great grandmother Patricia Hughes died as the result of a serious fire Suffolk Coroners Court heard Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Great grandmother Patricia Hughes died as the result of a serious fire Suffolk Coroners Court heard Picture: ADAM HOWLETT


Two young babies died from sudden infant death syndrome within hours of each other at Ipswich Hospital, an inquest has heard.

Moise Stefan was four days old when he was rushed into hospital where he sadly passed away shortly before 2.30am on April 22.

Less than five hours later, 24-day-old Liam Catchpole, was also taken to hospital and despite receiving help from specialist doctors, he was sadly pronounced dead shortly after 7.41am.

Separate inquiries into the deaths took place at Suffolk Coroners Court today, October 27.

The court heard how the parents of Moise Stefan alerted a neighbour who rushed them to hospital after finding him unresponsive in the early hours of April 22.

Doctors worked to revive the four-day-old, however he was pronounced dead at 2.21am.

Four hours later, in an unrelated incident, the parents of Liam Catchpole woke to find him unresponsive.

They started CPR and called for paramedics who arrived shortly before 7am.

Liam was then rushed to hospital where he received further care but was sadly pronounced dead at 7.41am.

The court heard how both babies had been carried to full term in ‘uneventful’ pregnancies and had been healthy during the first days of their lives.

Medical reports and post-mortem examinations showed that both babies had no injuries, no infection and no other causative problems.

In conclusion both deaths were listed as unexplained and were said to be the result of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A spokeswoman from The Lullaby Trust, a charity who supports bereaved parents following SIDS deaths, said that the cause of the syndrome is still a mystery. She said: “Nobody knows why sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) happens. That’s still completely unknown, but It’s likely to be a combination of factors that affects some babies at a vulnerable stage of their development.

“There is nothing anyone can do to prevent it entirely and there’s nothing that can be done to assess the risk of it.

“However, there are things that parents can do to lower the risk of it happening.

These include always placing your baby on their back to sleep and keeping your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.

“Parents should place their babies to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months and use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.

“There are also things that parents can avoid such as never sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby.

“Parents are also advised to not sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight.

“The charity advises parents to avoid letting your baby get too hot and don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding.”

Kay Hamilton, interim deputy director of nursing at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation which runs Ipswich Hospital, said: “We would like to extend our condolences to both families involved in these tragic infant deaths.

“Our frontline teams always do their very best to support families in these sad circumstances and we in turn do all we can to support our staff.

“Within the NHS, we have ‘after action reviews’ which help teams involved to reflect on what’s happened and identify support needed.

“We do after action reviews immediately after sad incidents like this and then again after a number of days when colleagues have had a chance to reflect.

“The sessions help us check on our colleagues’ wellbeing as well as providing peer support.

“We can identify where colleagues may need further help and have dedicated occupational health experts in place to support colleagues further.

“The wellbeing of our staff is crucially important, particularly during the challenging times of 2020.

“We have lots of health and wellbeing resources and support available to our staff.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star