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Nurse found guilty of manslaughter of boy with down syndrome

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Following an extensive investigation, it has been found that a nurse was responsible for the death of a six-year-old boy whose resuscitation was wrongly called off. Jack Adcock, who suffered with Down’s syndrome, had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia in February 2011. When sepsis was triggered by a bacterial infection, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died 11 hours after his admittance.

47-year-old agency nurse Isabel Amaro was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. Ms Amaro had worked with children for 20 years, but accepted that she breached her duty of care by failing to recognise that his body was “shutting down” due to sepsis. Despite admitting care breaches, she denied all charges that her failings were criminally negligent or had a significant contribution to the child’s death.

“woefully inaccurate”

It was heard that the nurse’s record keeping of the boy’s condition had been “woefully inaccurate”. It was argued that this is a basic nursing skill. Ms Amaro told the court that she had been working for several hours without a break, which could have contributed to her failings. Two other medics, Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba and nurse Theresa Taylor also stand trial.

It was heard that Dr Bawa-Garba had mixed Jack Adcock up with another patient and mistakenly believed that he had a “do not resuscitate” order. After another doctor checked the boy’s notes, however, she demanded immediate resuscitation a few minutes after. Both medics deny all manslaughter charges.

The case continues.

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