Nurse Lost Baby After Doctor And Midwives Failed To Spot Infection

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Nurse lost baby after doctor and midwives failed to spot infection

A heavily pregnant nurse lost her baby when was sent home with painkillers by a doctor and midwives who refused to listen to her appeals for help.

Lekha James said she 'instinctively' knew she had a urinary tract infection but a doctor and midwives refused to listen.

But instead of giving her antibiotics that could have dealt with the problem, she was prescribed the painkiller cocodamol.

Three days later the 34-year-old nurse was rushed back with life-threatening septicaemia and medical staff could not find a heartbeat for her baby son. He was stillborn after labour was induced.

St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, has admitted negligence in failing to diagnose and treat the infection that led to the death of baby Aidan.

An investigation has also exposed a 'staff attitude problem' and inadequate clinical assessment.

Mrs James, a cardiac nurse at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, who lives with her husband Santhosh Mathew and their daughter Tia, six, and other son, who they have also named Aiden, said: "As a nurse myself, I would never ignore what a patient tells me.

"I knew I had a urinary tract infection but they weren't listening, talking over us as if we were illiterate people.

"I wasn't happy to be sent home and the pain was so bad I needed a wheelchair. It was only when I was semi-conscious in labour I realised what had happened – it has been incredibly stressful and sad.

"We had been trying for a baby for some time when I became pregnant, and our precious baby son was much longed for.

"We now have another son, who we have called Aiden, but nothing can replace our baby who died."

Their solicitor Beth Reay, who is pursuing the legal claim for the couple, said health staff had made 'catastrophic failures' that led to the baby's death.

The solicitor said the trust had accepted that a course of antibiotics would have avoided the death of the baby and had written a letter of apology.

"While I am pleased to secure this admission of negligence, Mr and Mrs James need assurances that every possible step will be taken to ensure no other parents have to live through the same distressing ordeal," she added.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has launched an internal investigation into the complaint.

A trust spokesman said: "Unfortunately as this is an ongoing legal case we are unable to confirm any details."

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