We would like some advice on a situtation we have just been through. We would like to know if you think there is a negligence claim, and if so what steps and advice.
Our Baby Boy XXXXX was born on the 28th Feb 2011 by emergency C-section, as a blood sample from his head showed slight signs of distress. The doctor decided to operate immediately and within 20 minutes XXXXX was born. XXXXX was a healthy weight of 7lb 7oz and the doctors in theatre said everything is ok. As a precaution both XXXXX and my Wife were taken to a recovery room to be monitored. In recovery XXXXX managed to latch on and have a feed. His eyes were wide open and we were the happiest parent alive.
9am that same morning the mid wife decided everything was ok and they should be taken up to the ward. They got settled into the ward and were informed the paediatrician would pay a routine visit. After around an hour or so, we both noticed that XXXXX seemed very unsettled and asked the midwife to see if he was ok. She had a look and said he’s a newborn just playing up? As first time parents we took her advice and carried on. As the hours went by, his breathing became worse; he stopped feeding, no dirty nappies and would not stop crying. We asked the mid wife’s on a number of occasions to see if he is ok, and the reply was simply he’s a new born and he just a little restless. At around 5pm I went out to freshen up and returned at 6pm. XXXXX looked a different baby! His skin colour had changed; he was grunting and looked like he was struggling. I then forced a mid wife to call a doctor and up came a paediatrician from the neonatal ward. She took one look at him and took him straight into intensive care. I asked her, is everything ok and replied I’m not sure whats wrong him.
I returned to the ward to my wife and informed her of the situation. We both sat on the bed hugging each other not knowing what’s happening. We then decided to go to intensive care at around 8pm for an update. There were a number of doctors and nurses around XXXXX and drips and drugs were surrounding him. The paediatrician told us to let them do what they have to do and we will inform you of any changes. We asked what’s wrong with XXXXX, and the reply was some sort of blood infection? We returned upstairs and were given a private room. We sat and waited for which seemed like days until we received a phone call at 2am, the next morning. We went to intensive care and the paediatrician told us that XXXXX has 2 hours to live due to the infection taking over his body. Our poor boy was blue, yellow and blotchy in colour. We thought how could this happen?........
Our parents then arrived to offer us support and to say goodbye to their grandson who was only a day old. 2 hours went by, and then 6 hours went by. We were by his bedside at all times and asking the docs for updates. They were just waiting for him to go, and we were praying for him to stay. The hours went by, and then a day went by. At this point blood samples were in labs, XXXXX was ventilated, he was having fits and seizures, he wasn’t passing urine and was on a number of drugs, but was not giving up.
On day 2 the senior paediatrician took us into a private room to inform us of the situation. He told us that he has a serious blood infection which they can’t pinpoint and is very poorly. He then said, XXXXX is showing no signs of getting through this, so do you think we’re doing the right thing by keeping him alive? My thoughts were for XXXXX not to suffer anymore, but my wife insisted to give him a chance.
On day 3 the same meeting took place. The senior paediatrician words were he’s not getting better so do you think we’re doing the right thing by keeping XXXXX like this? We both said if he’s made it to day 3 from only being given 2 hours then surely there’s hope. We insisted that everything should be done to save our boy. The final words of the consultant were that if XXXXX has a heart attack then it’s unfair to save him? We agreed with this and off we went to XXXXXX side.
In the following days XXXXX managed to have a wee to show signs of his kidneys working. He was given blood and plasma to clot his blood. The blood results came back with no common infections? He was then given a lumber puncture to check for meningitis and the results were not meningitus. Day by day XXXXX began to shows signs of recovery. He was gagging on his ventilator, which was a good sign to show he was irritated by this. He then began to pass urine every few hours. His fits calmed down and began to move.
In all we were in NICU for almost 8 weeks. The doctors did an MRI scan which showed brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain. The docs said his hearing and sight will be affected and a possibility of Cerebral Palsy .
We took XXXXX home on April the 4th. XXXXX seems to be getting on ok, but he does show some signs of slow development. XXXXX seems to keep tense when asleep, and when he gets stressed his legs shoot up. He favours to keep his head on one side. XXXXX has also just started to smile.
On the whole we believe there has been neglect in various stages and areas of the hospital. Firstly because XXXXX was given a prick test on his scalp, it should have been sterile dressed when born which it was not. Next he was never seen by a paediatrician on the ward as part of a routine with all babies. If he was seen earlier then maybe they would have noticed something? We raised alarm bells an around 5 occasions to say XXXXX was not well, but we were told he’s playing up. If it wasn’t for me acting on this, then XXXXX would have collapsed on the ward. Another thing that really bugs me is that fact the senior paediatrician asked us whether to keep XXXXX alive on 2 occasions! On the first meeting I nearly gave up! To this date we still don’t know what infection XXXXX caught, but on his notes its Sepsis. Only 2 weeks ago, the neonatal ward was closed, as they found MSSA on a number of babies. The paediatrician himself was on the news and stated that if this gets into the blood, then the consequences could be fatal.
To this date we believe XXXXX caught MSSA of the ward from his open cut on his head. He should have been treated earlier to prevent the infection getting worse and to prevent the lack of oxygen to his brain. We are not sure what the future holds for XXXXX in terms of Cerabal Palsy, Brain Damage and development, but we are grateful that we have him in our lives. (We do thank all the nurses and doctors that helped XXXXX through his traumatic journey)
Thanky ou for taking time out to read our special story.
XXXXXXXXXX and XXXXX.