Hyponatraemia: Consultant denies cover-up claims

Claire Roberts Claire Roberts died in hospital in 1996

Related Stories

A consultant paediatrician has denied claims of a cover-up in the death of a girl who died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1996.

Claire Roberts, 9, died after being admitted with a stomach bug.

At an earlier hearing her parents alleged a cover-up after suggesting that staff had amended notes.

Dr Heather Steen denied this and said: "I have never been involved in a cover-up and I have never asked anyone to alter notes."

The hyponatraemia inquiry is examining the deaths of five children across Northern Ireland.

However, she said there were numerous deficiencies in Claire's care, including mistakes in the dosage of medication, that staffing levels were dangerously low and that in hindsight Claire's death should have been reported to the coroner.

In addition to Claire's death, the inquiry is investigating the deaths of Adam Strain, Raychel Ferguson and examining the events following the deaths of Lucy Crawford and Conor Mitchell.

In the case of four of the children, the inquest stated that hyponatraemia was a factor that contributed to their deaths.

Hyponatraemia describes an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood that can occurs when fluid is not administered correctly.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories



  • Two women in  JohanesburgYour pictures

    Readers' photos on the theme of South Africa

  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.