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Bristol hospital pledges to learn lessons from child’s death

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Staff at a children’s hospital accused of failing a one-year-old girl who died after heart surgery have pledged to learn lessons from her death.

Isabella Janew, who was born with a heart defect, died after suffering two cardiac arrests following a procedure to widen a heart valve at Bristol Children’s Hospital in September last year.

The hospital is currently under investigation after an independent inquiry into the deaths of children following heart surgery was set up last year by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

During the inquest into Isabella’s death, her parents raised a number of concerns about the quality of care – including nursing care - the 16-month-old from Gloucester received.

These include the fact an intensive care nurse – described as “young and inexperienced” by the couple - ignored repeated requests to call a doctor despite indications the child’s condition was deteriorating after surgery.

Meanwhile during attempts to re-start her heart, Isabella was given two overdoses of resuscitation drugs – although these were not found to have contributed to her death.

“Two incorrect doses of resuscitation drugs were given but the coroner found that these did not contribute to her death”

Returning a narrative verdict, Avon coroner Maria Voisin said sudden collapse and death were complications of Isabella’s condition – congenital aortic valval stenosis.

In a statement, University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust said Isabella had “unexpectedly” had a cardiac arrest during the cardiology procedure.

She was moved to the paediatric intensive care unit but the following day had another “unexpected” cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated.

“The coroner heard from a number of medical and nursing staff from the children’s hospital, who have explained how they treated and cared for Isabella and the steps they have taken since her death to understand why she died,” said the statement.

“In the extreme situation of Isabella’s cardiac arrest two incorrect doses of resuscitation drugs were given but the coroner found that these did not contribute to her death.

“The trust has reflected on this and taken steps to minimise the likelihood of overdoses happening again in cardiac arrest situations.”

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