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Baby dies of meningitis after being identified with constipation and despatched home


A untimely child died of meningitis inside of 24 hours of being despatched home from clinic after being identified with constipation.

The heartbroken folks of two-month-old Amber Rafferty have accused the NHS of negligence following the child’s death in May.

Mum Veronica took the tot to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh after she was anxious about her daughter’s health.

The 25-year-old left the clinic relieved after being informed there used to be not anything to fret about. But Amber tragically died of meningitis tomorrow.

Now Veronica and husband Scott have damaged their silence after an NHS Lothian inside investigation cleared workforce of any wrongdoing, the Daily Record experiences.

In a 10-page document, NHS Lothian mentioned they “did not identify modifications of care delivered that could reasonably be expected to have prevented the death”.

But the health board have since offered adjustments to how they deal with untimely small children taken to an coincidence and emergency division.

Doctors will now be expected to confess them for an in a single day evaluation – a transfer the couple consider would have stored Amber’s lifestyles.

Veronica and Scott with child Amber
(Image: David Johnstone Photography)

Veronica, of Leith, mentioned: “I aroused from sleep and Amber used to be in her Moses basket however she wasn’t respiring. I were taught first-aid as a result of she’s a untimely child so I began doing CPR.

“She used to be taken away through ambulance and we adopted in a police automotive. It used to be the worst day of our lives.”

Dad Scott, 33, added: “I used to be on the brink of move out to paintings and I heard Veronica screaming. The day before, we had been informed Amber used to be constipated however she used to be loss of life. She had meningitis and used to be within the early levels. They didn’t even stay her in a single day.

“If she were, our child daughter would possibly nonetheless be alive.”

Emergency crews controlled to resuscitate Amber as they rushed to clinic and she or he used to be handled with massive doses of antibiotics.

Doctors battled to avoid wasting her however the couple had been informed that Amber’s middle used to be too vulnerable to live to tell the tale.

Veronica mentioned: “I couldn’t bring myself to turn off the life support machines. It was so traumatic. I still can’t believe she’s gone.”

The circle of relatives’s ordeal started on May 1 – just days after Amber used to be allowed home from clinic. She used to be born on February 16 at just 28 weeks and weighing just over 3lb.

Argentinian-born Veronica mentioned: “She used to be so tiny when she used to be born. But she used to be respiring positive on her personal and she or he didn’t want oxygen.

“She used to be our first child and my simplest kid. My being pregnant used to be excellent. I had gestational diabetes however I used to be feeling smartly. There used to be not anything being concerned me.

“Then, at 27 weeks and 5 days, I had some contractions.”

Amber used to be born on February 16 at just 28 weeks
(Image: David Johnstone Photography)

Veronica used to be admitted to clinic, the place she used to be monitored, and 6 days later Amber used to be born.

She mentioned: “She used to be absolute best. She needed to spend time within the neonatal unit however she used to be a fighter.

“I’d get the bus in each day to look her and maintain her. She used to be doing in point of fact smartly and used to be placing on weight.”

Amber used to be allowed home on April 21, weighing a wholesome 8lb. But, 9 days later, Veronica spotted Amber were irritable and constipated. After two days, she known as NHS 24, who prompt her to look her GP.

She mentioned: “I took Amber to the physician at 8.30am however they informed me the following to be had appointment used to be 11.40am.

“I used to be prompt if I felt it used to be an emergency to take her to A&E. So I did.”

Amber used to be assessed through a nurse, who used to be involved in regards to the child’s rapid middle charge.

Veronica has claimed the clinic physician could now not get entry to Amber’s neonatal notes and she or he needed to relay her daughter’s scientific historical past verbally.

She added: “The nurse mentioned she idea Amber had tachycardia and we had been ready to look a physician.

“I defined to the physician that she wasn’t smartly and I used to be anxious about her now not having any bowel actions.

“He assessed her and noticed a place on her chest and requested how lengthy it were there. I mentioned I’d by no means observed it before.

“Her middle charge used to be nonetheless up and so they requested me to take a look at a feed. She took a feed and had a bowel motion.

“They informed me Amber used to be positive, that it used to be higher to be safe than sorry. I depended on them and she or he had began to calm down. The physician confident me her middle charge were top as she used to be unsettled.”

The child used to be taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh
(Image: Daily Record)

Veronica used to be later knowledgeable through NHS Lothian that medical doctors had mentioned the potential for an an infection however a call used to be made to not take a look at Amber.

She mentioned: “I’m not a doctor but if they had said to me there might be an infection, I would’ve said I wanted her tested. I didn’t know until it was too late.”

Veronica and Scott were given married in May 2017 and came upon she used to be pregnant a couple of months later.

But the death in their daughter has became the couple’s lives the other way up.

She mentioned: “Amber’s death has put a strain on our relationship. We are trying to work through it but we don’t live in the same house any more. It has been a nightmare. I can’t put into words how awful it feels.”

Scott added that the couple had contacted solicitors to speak about beginning legal action against NHS Lothian.

He mentioned: “It’s tough. They did ask for forgiveness to us and so they agree they could have accomplished extra however it’s now not excellent sufficient.

“NHS Lothian had their investigation and feature come to a conclusion that they’ve accomplished not anything fallacious. I totally disagree. I just need to save any other circle of relatives the heartbreak of shedding a kid because of negligence.”

NHS Lothian mentioned they have got offered adjustments since Amber’s death, including admitting untimely small children with a suspected an infection and offering A&E workforce with get entry to to neonatal notes.

Tracey Gillies, scientific director of NHS Lothian, mentioned: “The death of a kid is tragic and I be offering my trustworthy condolences to the circle of relatives of Amber Rafferty.

“Following a full investigation, which concluded that suitable care used to be equipped, individuals of our senior medical team met with the circle of relatives and a follow-up assembly has been presented.”



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