Threat to sue over twin's death

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The Independent Online
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children admitted yesterday that a six-week-old baby had not been seen by a doctor in the hours leading up to his death. In November 1995, Hussein Mohammad underwent pioneering surgery at the hospital to separate him from his Siamese twin brother.

Later, despite his father's anxiety about his condition, Hussein was not seen by a doctor until he was already dead.

Now Ammar Mohammad, his Kuwaiti father, is threatening to sue the hospital over the events, which are catalogued in an internal, confidential report about the death.

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street said the doctor responsible for the child had been dealing with an emergency admission, but that Hussein had been his next priority. The baby's temperature had dropped slightly, so a nurse wrapped him up in a blanket to keep him warm.

"A parent's concerns are always taken seriously so the nurses telephoned the doctor who said he would come as soon as he was finished," the spokeswoman said. "The child's condition was monitored very carefully throughout the day by specialist paediatric nurses and he took a full feed orally for the first time that lunchtime, which was a good sign."

Great Ormond Street Hospital also said that the baby's medical notes had not been updated for four days. The spokeswoman said that in theory, this should be done every day but in practice it did not always happen if it was considered that there was no change in a child's condition.