MRSA not main cause of baby death

MRSA was not believed to be the main cause of death of a two-day old baby at Ipswich Hospital it has been revealed today.The death of baby Luke Day hit national headlines when it was thought that he died from MRSA at the Heath Road maternity unit.

MRSA was not believed to be the main cause of death of a two-day old baby at Ipswich Hospital it has been revealed today.

The death of baby Luke Day hit national headlines when it was thought that he died from MRSA at the Heath Road maternity unit.

He was thought to have been the youngest ever fatality of the infection.

However, sources claim that the findings of an inquiry into his death, revealed today show that it was not the main cause, but was a contributory factor.

The inquiry is one of two released today – one into the death of Luke Day and the other into the procedures of the maternity unit.

Although MRSA is not likely to be the cause of death, the hospital is still set to be criticised, and has already instigated new procedures on the maternity wards.

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It is understood that the results of the three-month inquiry will mean significant changes to practices will have to be made in a bid to avoid a similar tragedy.

Hospital board members were presented with the findings of the investigation on Friday and are thought to have studied the report over the weekend.

Luke's family were today due to meet with health experts to be told first-hand of its findings and the recommendations which will be implemented.

A source close to the hospital said it was bracing itself for a backlash and staff were full of determination to ensure things were put right for the future.

For the last three months a team of senior doctors and infection control experts have been carrying out a thorough investigation into his death, after the hospital's own research drew a blank.

Luke's parents Glynnis Day and Kevin Fenton, and his grandparents Julie Fenton and Kathy Day, have been invited to attend the meeting, which will take place in private in Woodbridge this morning.

Mrs Fenton said: "Over the last few months the hospital has been really good. At first, we were just finding everything out through the press, but recently we have had lots of phone calls and meetings with people who've kept us up to date with what's been going on."

It is expected that a summary of the report will be made public at a press conference later this week, as well as published on Ipswich Hospital's website.

Once the report has been published the hospital has also promised to answer 20 questions on MRSA which the Evening Star put to it shortly after Luke's death in February.

The seven-strong review panel was made up of experts from within the hospital as well as the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority. There were also two members from the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust who have specialist knowledge of infection control.

Weblink: www.ipswichhospital.org.uk

TIMELINE:

February 1 2005: Luke Day is born to proud parents Glynnis Day, then 17, and Kevin Fenton, 24, at Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.

February 3 : Two-day-old Luke becomes seriously ill and later dies.

A post-mortem examination carried out over the next few days shows he had Methicillin Resistant Staphyloccocus Aureus (MRSA).

March 22 : Miss Day and Mr Fenton decide to tell their story to the press after they receive Luke's death certificate and there is no mention of MRSA on it.

Mr Fenton refused to sign the certificate until MRSA was given as the cause of death.

Kathy Day, Luke's maternal grandmother, resigned from her job at the hospital saying she cannot help the NHS any more.

March 24 : Microbiologists at Ipswich Hospital admit they may never know how Luke contracted the bug.

March 31: The Evening Star puts 20 questions to Ipswich Hospital over the death of Luke Day and its infection control policies.

April 7: The Evening Star takes Kevin and Julie Fenton, and Glynnis and Kathy Day to the House of Commons to hand their own letter to representatives of the three party leaders. The letter calls for stricter infection control policies and more accurate recording of MRSA statistics.

April 14: Ipswich Hospital announce they are to launch a new, independent investigation in to the death of Luke Day. A seven-strong team of experts is to work with staff at the hospital to look at every aspect of infection control and the events leading up to Luke's Death. The hospital promises to answer the Star's 20 questions when the review is finished.

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