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Posted on 29th March 2017

Inquest into why a 10-month old baby died at hospital

An inquest is investigating why 10-month-old Léo Stacey died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital on the morning of October 6, 2015, just hours after he was taken to the hospital’s A&E department by ambulance.

Baby Léo died from a bowel condition in which the wall of the bowel folds in on itself and disrupts the intestine.

If diagnosed it can be cured by an operation, but if it isn’t treated it is fatal.

A Serious Incident Investigation following Léo’s death found three main issues with his care. These were an inadequate administration of fluid, a delay in diagnosis of his condition and the hospital’s management of his cardiac arrest. 

Léo’s parents are being represented at the inquest by medical negligence claims specialist Dr John White.

Dr White said: “Léo suffered from a surgical condition of the bowel which is relatively rare but entirely treatable if it is detected in time and managed properly.

"His parents believe that delays in his treatment and diagnosis of his condition and a failure to keep him stabilised meant that opportunities to save Léo’s life were missed.

“It is their hope that the inquest will provide the answers to those questions and lessons will be learned to prevent other parents going through what has happened to them.”

Léo’s father took him to an out-of-hours clinic in Hemel Hempstead after they become concerned because he had been vomiting throughout the afternoon.

The GP diagnosed a possible gastroenteritis and that he should be spoon-fed water and re-hydration fluids.

The following day Léo’s condition worsened and he was unable to keep any liquid down.

His parents called 999 around 5:15pm after there was blood in his vomit. At 6.14pm, a paramedic attended and called for an ambulance. The ambulance did not arrive on the scene until 7.58pm.

Léo’s mother Nathalie, 38, said: “I feel that my otherwise healthy son died in a few hours in hospital from something that was treatable. We knew something was very wrong but nobody took us seriously.

“They didn’t read the signs and we feel that they ignored information we gave them, and we want to know why.

"A 10-month old can’t talk and tell you what is wrong. It is the doctor’s duty to check every possible diagnosis.

"We have tried to manage as best we can but my outlook as a parent and my career have been seriously affected. Now we are having to re-live the whole thing to try to get some answers.”