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Doctor's shock at death of young patient
Updated 9:39pm Saturday 26th January 2013 in News
A TOP children's doctor has told how the death of her four year old patient from a heart failure “came like a bolt from the blue”.
An NHS investigation afterwards found there had been 20 minute delay in recognising his heart was failing and medical staff reviving him, Southampton Coroner's Court heard.
But consultant paediatrician, Dr Nicola Trevelyan, who was by his bed shortly before his death, said he had shown no signs after his operation that he was about to die.
She said: “He was alert enough to be watching DVDs and interacting.
“It came literally as a bolt out of the blue. It is therefore difficult to understand why it happened.
“There were no indicators that he was deteriorating.”
The inquest also heard that a stent used to fit a catheter to the boy after the operation was slightly out of place.
But Dr Trevelyan said if this caused complications there would have been signs.
She said:“I would have expected to see him more and more poorly before he arrested and less and less willing to sit up and watch a DVD and less interactive with staff and his heart rate would have become higher.”
The inquest earlier heard how Matthew, who was on the high dependency unit on December 16 was not linked up to a heart monitor while his heart appeared to be failing at about 4am - although following his death all patients are now hooked up 24 hours after surgery.
Staff nurse Lyndsey Menendez had been caring from Matthew, a pupil at St Francis School, who had a lifelong medical condition where his muscles were weaker and meant he needed constant care.
During the night Ms Menendez found nothing for concern. The inquest heard how an alarm sounded on his oxygen and pulse monitor, although he was breathing.
The nurse then replaced the monitor but noticed there was a problem with his circulation and then found no heart beat. Attempts to revive him were futile and he died at 4.20am, the court heard.
A post mortem concluded that he had more than likely died of a kidney infection.
The two day inquest was adjourned until Monday, February 4, when coroner Keith Wiseman will deliver a narrative verdict.
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