No failings found in care of premature baby

Summary 1096 |

Ms C raised concerns about the care and treatment given to her baby, J, who was born prematurely.

What happened

Ms C was admitted to hospital when she was 30 weeks pregnant because she had started to bleed. In hospital it was noted there was intrauterine growth restriction (poor growth of a baby while in the mother's womb) and Ms C had high blood pressure. She had an emergency caesarean section and her son was born. Because he was premature, her son, J, was admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit. After a couple of weeks, J had low levels of oxygen in his blood (desaturations) and prolonged periods of not breathing. He was transferred to a different trust for surgical review and ongoing care, but, sadly, he died there a few weeks later.

Ms C complained about the care and treatment given to J at both Trusts. Her concerns included that J was misdiagnosed; he was given blood transfusions with the wrong blood type; placed onto his back when he vomited and choked; and he was signed up to a clinical study that staff did not explain properly.

What we found

We found that the tests and investigations at both Trusts were appropriate and well-timed. J received appropriate treatment and we saw no evidence that he was misdiagnosed. The decision to transfer J to a different trust for a surgical review was the right thing to do and was timely. While there, J vomited because he was so ill and he was placed on his back. This was appropriate as he needed to have a tube inserted through his mouth to allow suction.

With regard to the trial J was part of, the Trust got appropriate consent from Ms C and gave her information about the reasons for the trial and how J's involvement could be stopped. Ms C signed to confirm she received and understood the information. We included further explanations in our report to reassure Ms C that no harm would have been caused to J due to the trial.

We found no evidence that J was given the wrong type of blood when he received blood transfusions.

We did not uphold the complaint, but provided some further explanations to help Ms C understand the care given to her son.

Health or Parliamentary
Organisations we investigated

St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (formerly St George's Healthcare NHS Trust)

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust


Greater London

Complainants' concerns ?

Came to an unsound decision