Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield baby 'should not have left intensive care'

Sheffield Children's Hospital
Image caption The baby suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on the way back to intensive care

A baby who died after she left intensive care should not have been moved to a ward if nurses there felt they could not cope, an inquest heard.

Six-month-old Julia Gujdanoca died at Sheffield Children's Hospital after she was moved to make space for new patients, the Sheffield inquest heard.

A coroner heard nurses opposed the move but they felt unsupported by doctors.

A doctor said if the nurses felt unable to manage Julia's illness she should have remained in intensive care.

The inquest previously heard how Julia was seriously ill with an undiagnosed syndrome and MRSA but had been in a stable condition in the intensive care unit.

She was moved out of the unit to make way for other children being moved in.

After she arrived on the regular S1 ward Julia began having "an episode", the inquest heard, and she became extremely distressed.

Her condition deteriorated and she suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in a lift on the way back to intensive care.

Nurses from S1 told the hearing how they soon became concerned about Julia being on the ward and felt she should be back in intensive care, but they said they felt unsupported by the doctors.

On Monday registrar Dr Lesley Peers, who responded to the nurses' calls on S1, was pressed repeatedly by Sheffield Assistant Deputy Coroner David Urpeth about whether the decision to transfer Julia had been the right one.

No pain relief

She said: "I think if nursing staff had felt they were unable to manage these episodes then she should have stayed on PCCU (Paediatric Critical Care Unit)."

The inquest, at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre, heard how Julia was inconsolable on the S1 ward.

The coroner said: "I'm told people had never seen a baby cry like this."

Dr Peers told him she was unable to give Julia pain relief because her nasal-gastric tube had come out and she did not feel it was safe to put it back with the baby in such distress.

She said this was because there was no space on the regular ward for the equipment needed if the procedure was to go wrong.

The inquest continues.

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