Kent

QEQM: Sepsis baby turned away by A&E twice before death

Baby Luchii Image copyright Laura Cooke
Image caption Luchii Gavrilescu was 48 days old when he died

The mother of a baby with sepsis who was diagnosed with a mild chest infection said his death was avoidable.

Laura Cooke was twice sent home from A&E in the days before six-week-old Luchii Gavrilescu died.

The life-threatening condition was diagnosed on a third visit, but Ms Cooke said her son was then "left to lie on a trolley all day to die".

The Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother hospital in Margate, Kent, is investigating the family's concerns.

Ms Cooke, from Margate, first took her son to hospital on 29 November after failing to get a GP appointment.

She said staff told her his breathing problems were the result of bronchiolitis, an infection with symptoms similar to a cold.

On 3 December, on the advice of her GP, Ms Cooke returned, but said she was sent home again after Luchii was given saline drops and a leaflet on bronchiolitis.

Three days later she dialled 999 when her son became "floppy, pale" and began "panting like a dog".

But she said a first responder downgraded his priority after an initial assessment and they were eventually taken to hospital by a Red Cross ambulance.

Image caption Laura Cooke believes her son was "forgotten about" by medical staff

At hospital, he was diagnosed with sepsis and prescribed antibiotics, but was then "forgotten about", she said.

A full investigation is needed "so it doesn't happen ever again and tears another family apart", Ms Cooke added.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, said it was "extremely sorry" for the "devastating loss".

"We apologise that they have concerns about Luchii's care. We have listened carefully to those concerns and we will work as quickly as we can to be able to give them the answers they need.

"Until the investigation has concluded we are not able to comment on Luchii's treatment."

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it was assisting the hospital's investigation while also conducting its own.

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