Mother feared she had infected her baby after mistake by Leicester hospitals trust
A hospital boss apologised to a young mother after she was sent a letter mistakenly telling her she was carrying the infection that killed her two-week-old baby.
Jane Porter, head of midwifery at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, told Kealy Watts she was sorry the letter telling her she was carrying the bacterial infection Group B streptococcus (GBS) had been sent.
An inquest yesterday into the death of Ms Watts's daughter, Izzybella Pawley, heard how the tot died suddenly from blood poisoning on New Year's Eve last year, just hours after contracting GBS.
After receiving the letter, Ms Watts, of Braunstone, Leicester, believed she had passed the infection on to her daughter.
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Ms Porter told the hearing at Leicester Town Hall that the blood test results for Ms Watts and Izzybella had got mixed up. As a result, Ms Watts was told she was infected with GBS when she was not.
Ms Porter said: "We did make an error and I am sorry about that. The system has been changed and is much more robust in relation to the identification of the results for the mother and for a child."
In the wake of the tot's death, Ms Watts and Izzybella's father, Kyle Pawley, raised £2,500 for the Group B Step Support charity through a fund-raising night and by running the Leicester half-marathon with other family members.
Detective Constable Gary Dunigan told the inquest how Mr Pawley had desperately given his baby daughter CPR when he realised she was ill.
The officer said Mr Pawley had fed his daughter and put her to bed at about midnight on December 30.
He fell asleep on the sofa downstairs but woke up later.
"He immediately knew something was wrong," said Det Con Dunigan.
"He had had some training in the Army and put Izzybella on the floor and called Kealy to come downstairs.
"He started CPR on Izzybella. The ambulance was called and he moved Izzybella on to the table and carried on CPR until the ambulance staff arrived and took over."
Izzybella was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary but was pronounced dead hours later.
Paediatric pathologist Roger Malcomson said Izzybella had died from septicaemia caused by the GBS.
He said the most likely way the infection had entered the tot's bloodstream was either through a urinary infection of an inflamed airway.
Izzybella was born five weeks premature on December 17 at the infirmary.
Coroner Lydia Brown recorded a verdict of natural causes.
She said: "It is impossible to say where the infection came from."
She told Ms Porter: "The sending of the letter was completely unacceptable. This erroneous letter can only have added to the distress the family was suffering."
After the hearing, Mr Pawley said they had received the letter the day after their daughter had died. He said: "It was very upsetting and should not have happened."