Tuesday 16 July 2019

Baby died a day after admission to hospital with chest infection

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Louise Roseingrave

A nine-month-old baby died a day after he was admitted to hospital with a chest infection, an inquest has heard.

Eoin Julian, from Ballylinan, Co Laois, was admitted to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin on December 29, 2015.

A number of changes have been implemented at the hospital since the baby's death, Dublin Coroner's Court heard yesterday. Baby Eoin was born at the Coombe Hospital on March 16, 2015. His parents, Aine and Sean Julian, had been advised he had heart defects when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

"He was born in good condition and weighed seven pounds 12 ounces. For both myself and Sean this was like winning the lottery," said Mrs Julian.

The child had an enlarged heart due to a thickening of the heart muscle of the left ventricle.

He spent three days in Neonatal Intensive Care and was discharged from hospital on March 21. A few days later he was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

Paediatrician cardiologist Dr Orla Franklin told the inquest that a percentage of children presenting with similar difficulties to Eoin will improve over a period of years.

"Dr Franklin said that if Eoin could get through his first year of life without his heart deteriorating, he would likely overcome his difficulties," Mrs Julian said in her deposition.

In August 2015, it was found that Eoin's heart had not deteriorated and Dr Franklin expressed optimism about the baby's prognosis.

"She said he was doing extremely well," Mrs Julian said.

On December 27, 2015, the baby developed a slight cough. Two days later Mrs Julian brought him to Crumlin because the cough was worsening.

He was diagnosed with bronchiolitis and admitted to a ward. He was deemed be a higher risk due to his enlarged heart and he was reviewed by a number of doctors.

The inquest heard that baby Eoin was given chloryl hydrate to sleep and this was administered on the ward, which is against hospital guidelines.

A CPAP ventilator, which the child used for sleep apnea at night, was used while he was awake, despite instructions from a respiratory consultant that it should be used while he slept.

A call from a nurse requesting assistance from a doctor at 10.22am on December 30 went unanswered. The child was not seen by a cardiologist until he was transferred to intensive care in a critically-ill condition. He died on December 30.

The cause of death was acute cardiac arrhythmia due to bronchial pneumonia in the context of an abnormal heart.

The inquest continues.

Irish Independent

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