Alder Hey Hospital apologises over baby's E. coli death

Padraig Henry Image copyright Family
Image caption Padraig died after contracting E. coli at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital

A hospital has offered "sincere apologies" to the family of a baby who died after a routine operation.

Eleven-week-old Padraig Henry was admitted to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool for bowel surgery in July 2013 but contracted an E. coli infection and died eight days later.

The hospital later admitted breach of duty and paid £17,500 in compensation.

Padraig's father, Colin, from Kilrea, County Antrim, criticised the "blunders and failings" made by the hospital.

Mr Henry said he and Padraig's mother, Karen Bailey, believe Padraig's death could have been avoided.

"If we had known the hospital was experiencing an E. coli outbreak we would never have allowed our son to have surgery on that day," he said.

"What's even more saddening is that it's very likely that if those mistakes had not happened, Padraig would still be with us."

Image copyright Family
Image caption The hospital has admitted failings and paid the family compensation following the baby's death in July 2013

Doctors failed to diagnose and treat Padraig's infection quickly enough.

An investigation by law firm Fletchers Solicitors later found they had lost a swab that would have highlighted the infection, and also failed to provide antibiotics in time.

Mr Henry said: "We were deeply distraught to find out that our son's life had been cut short by blunders and failings in care."

A spokesman for Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust said: "We wish to offer our sincere condolences and apologies to the family of this child.

"The trust deeply regrets this incident in 2013 and accepts that it failed to implement its infection prevention procedures appropriately.

"A full investigation was undertaken and we can confirm that lessons have been learned and failings addressed to ensure this does not happen again."

The spokesman said a contributing factor had been the "limited infection control facilities at that time", with only one isolation cubicle being available.

The hospital's new site has "the highest levels of infection control, safety and quality care", he said.

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