Luke's parents hope lessons are learned

PARENTS of the UK's youngest victim of MRSA criticised Ipswich Hospital following a coroner's ruling their newborn died after contracting the super bug.

PARENTS of the UK's youngest victim of MRSA criticised Ipswich Hospital following a coroner's ruling their newborn died after contracting the super bug.

Kevin Fenton and Glynis Day were speaking following an inquest into the death of their son Luke, who was just 36 hours old when he died in February 2005.

An investigation by the hospital had previously concluded that Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) may not have been the cause of death. However, yesterday Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean ruled the baby died as a result of contracting the bug.

Medical staff had also missed a number signs which should have shown them Luke was sick, he added.


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Mr Fenton and Miss Day, both from Woodbridge, have been fighting to get MRSA recorded as the cause of death on their son's death certificate for two years.

Mr Fenton, 26, said: “The whole family is pleased with the verdict. It's taken two years to come to this and finally we have got some of the answers we wanted.

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“We always expected the coroner would find Luke had died from MRSA and now hopefully the hospital can learn from some of its mistakes because we don't want something like this to happen again.”

Luke's family are now considering whether to take legal action against Ipswich Hospital.

Earlier microbiologists confirmed the baby died as a result of an infection and that pathologists had found traces of MRSA in his lungs, heart and spleen.

But experts could not be certain that Luke died as a result of the super bug, the inquest, held at Endeavour House in Ipswich, was told.

However, recording a narrative verdict, Dr Dean concluded that on the balance of probability it looked as if the baby had died from MRSA.

He added that there was also evidence to suggest that 20 hours after being born Luke was showing signs of illness, which included a drop in temperature, a low blood sugar level and “grunting” - a possible sign of breathing difficulties.

Medical staff failed to react to the warning signs and missed opportunities to review Luke's treatment such as taking him into intensive care and administering antibiotics, Dr Dean said.

Clare Barlow, the hospital's director of operations at the time, said it had carried out two reviews in an attempt to improve procedures and that lessons had been learnt.

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