Monday 21 January 2019

Hospital must learn lessons from death of our little Eoin: parents

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Louise Roseingrave

The parents of a nine-month-old baby with a congenital heart condition say lessons must be learned from his death.

A verdict of medical misadventure was recorded at the inquest into the death of baby Eoin Julian. The only son of Aine and Sean Julian died at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin on December 30, 2015.

His parents were told weeks before his death that his heart condition had stabilised and his future looked bright.

"Little Eoin brought so much love into the lives of all who cared for him during his short life," said Mr and Mrs Julian, from Ballylinan, Co Laois.

Through their legal team, the Julian family expressed concern over a number of issues that emerged at the inquiry, including staff's lack of awareness of hospital guidelines and communication issues between medical teams.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard a temporary medical chart was used because the baby's full chart was missing.

The hospital apologised unreservedly for shortcomings in Eoin's care and for the distress and suffering to his family.

Barrister for the family Roger Murray said it was the parents' wish that lessons be learned from a hospital review that followed Eoin's death. Recommendations are currently being implemented and the family felt these could be extended to improve care nationwide.


"The family would be very consoled to hear these were being followed up in their entirety," Mr Murray said.

Eoin's parents initially brought him to hospital because he had a cough that was not improving. He was admitted to the hospital in Crumlin on December 29, 2015, with a respiratory tract infection. He had been diagnosed with Noonan's Syndrome with an associated congenital heart condition shortly after birth.

However, his consultant paediatric cardiologist Dr Orla Franklin had expressed optimism about the baby's prognosis, weeks before he died.

The inquest heard that following admission, the child was reviewed three times to determine whether he should be placed in intensive care. The court heard a respiratory consultant's specific instructions for use of a Cpap ventilator for sleep apnea were not followed.

The following morning, two calls for medical assistance from nursing staff went unanswered. A medical team responded to an emergency arrest call at 10.43am and the child was prepared for transfer to the paediatric intensive care unit. However, the nurse charged with receiving him said she was not made aware of the urgency of the situation.

Eoin was transferred, but at 12.20pm suffered a cardiac arrest from which he could not be resuscitated.

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

Irish Independent

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