Baby boy from Nelson died from natural causes
8:51am Sunday 26th January 2014 in News
A THREE day old baby boy died from natural causes 12 hours of being discharged from hospital, an inquest has found.
Fletcher Kennedy, from Nelson, was released from hospital despite not sleeping, refusing to feed and appearing grey-skinned, his family had claimed.
After the hearing Fletcher’s father, Sean, said he had now lost all faith in midwives at Burnley General Hospital.
But East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said: “It is noticable that none of the health care professionals thought their concerns were worthy of note. It is not as if he was not seen by anyone at the hospital. He was seen by experienced doctors and midwives.”
He added: “I don’t find that it was unreasonable to discharge Fletcher Kennedy and Gemma Smith on February 16. Gemma Smith told me in her evidence: ‘I just want out’.”
Mr Kennedy and Fletcher’s mum, Gemma Smith, claimed midwives made errors in their notes about Fletcher's condition during his care at Burnley’s Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre between February 14 and February 16 last year.
He died on February 17 at Royal Blackburn Hospital after he had stopped breathing at his mum’s Sherwood Close home.
The second day of the inquest at Burnley Town Hall heard how pathologist Dr Nadia Burgess was unable to establish a medical cause of death for the youngster.
She and Mr Taylor acknowledged that previously Fletcher’s death would have been referred to as sudden infant death syndrome, but that term was no longer used by medics as it was ‘unhelpful’.
Addressing the parents, Mr Taylor said: “A mother and father undoubtedly have dreams, hopes and expectations for their son.
“It is only natural for parents to ask not only: ‘Why has this happened to us?’, but: ‘Why has this happened at all?”.
“I have no doubt that she (Miss Smith) did express concerns and I have no doubt that they were listened to.
Mr Taylor added: “I do hope to some extent that the family’s concerns have been allayed by Dr Burgess, who said the concerns of the family did not contribute to Fletcher’s death.
“The conclusion I have to return is one of natural causes. All we can say is that it was an unknown, natural cause. A medical cause of death was not fully established.”
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Kennedy, 27, said: “Just one more day in there would have made a bit of a difference. This can’t happen again. I have got no faith now in midwives.”
Miss Smith, 35, added: "It’s wrong. It makes me sick."
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