The newborn baby Harvey died after a series of mistakes by NHS staff

An investigation has determined the death of a baby who died just four days old from sepsis was caused by neglect by NHS staff.

Baby Harvey Nicholson was transferred to Glenfield Hospital from Hull Royal Infirmary in August 2019 for specialist treatment, but he died.

The cause of death has been ruled as hypoxia (oxygen starvation) – a result of sepsis that developed shortly after he was born on August 23, 2019, reports the Hull Daily Mail,

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Several errors by staff at the Hull Royal Infirmary prior to his transfer to Leicestershire were identified by the Hull Coroners’ Court earlier this month.

Hull University Teaching Hospital’s NHS Trust has issued an apology for its mistakes.

The midwife team did not respond quickly enough to the newborn’s symptoms of sepsis as well as a subsequent examination by a pediatrician who also could not recognize his symptoms.

During the hearing, it was found that Harvey was prescribed paracetamol when he should have been given antibiotics, and the forensic pathologist ruled that his death was “contributed by neglect”.



Hull Royal Infirmary at night
Hull Royal Infirmary at night

HRI staff reportedly provided inadequate care to Harvey and his mother Sonia’s history of UTIs during pregnancy was not detected, as well as the presence of bacteria, GBS – which meant doctors did not give her the antibiotics she needed. .

The midwife also did not screen Harvey after his birth for sepsis.

Coroner Lorraine Harris’ report said: “If all available information had been gathered correctly on the balance sheet, it would probably have led to the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics to Harvey within an hour of his birth.

“However, there was no risk assessment or neonatal sepsis screening. The administration of antibiotics within an hour after birth could have changed the outcome.”

Harvey’s blood infection, combined with the fact that he probably inhaled meconium (newborn feces) during birth, led to severe hypoxia, the report added, which caused his brain and liver to become oxygen-hungry.

Mrs. Harris concluded, “His death was caused by neglect.”

A spokeswoman for the Hull University Teaching Hospital’s NHS Trust said: “We are deeply saddened by the mistakes we made that led to Harvey’s death. We accept that Harvey would not have died if we had followed the correct procedure.

“We have apologized to Harvey’s family and are repeating this apology again today to those and everyone who loved Harvey.

Harvey’s death is the subject of further legal action, so we are limited in what we can say at present.

“However, we would like to emphasize our evidence for the investigation that we have made significant changes to our procedures and processes to prevent a recurrence of similar errors in the future.”

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