Child died as tests were not usually done at weekend


John Fahey
Friday 16 August 2013 19:53

A sick toddler died in hospital after an important heart test was not done because it was the weekend, an inquest heard yesterday.

Dylan Brown died in Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge, west London, on 13 May last year after suffering three cardiac arrests.

The two-year-old, who had an underlying disease of the heart muscle, could have had an echocardiogram (ECG) which uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart.

He was described as having a “complex medical history” involving a congenital heart condition, which was being investigated.

Dr Nagi Barakat, a consultant paediatrician at Hillingdon, told the inquest at West London Coroner’s Court: “It was not done because it was the weekend and they are not normally done at the weekend.”

He did not explain why they are not normally done at this time.

As attempts were made to resuscitate the toddler, his parents Kirk and Tara were not allowed into the room with him, the inquest heard. Christine Mann, Hillingdon’s matron and nursing services manager, apologised to Mr and Mrs Brown for this yesterday, saying one reason they were excluded was because of staff shortages.

She also apologised for the parents believing they were not given enough information about discussions involving Dylan.

She said: “I have no excuses. They should have been allowed to be with him throughout all the resuscitation. They should most definitely have been with him.

“We clearly didn’t communicate with Dylan’s family effectively when staff were adjusting and silencing his monitor.

“We should have been more clear to the family about what was happening.”

The coroner Lorna Tagliavini recorded a verdict of death from natural causes. She said there were no failings in Dylan’s care and he was treated “appropriately”.

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