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Police rule out child death and fluid bag link

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Police have ruled out a link between damage to fluid bags at an Essex hospital earlier this year and the death of a child.

Essex Police said they had found no link between damage to fluid bags discovered in the children’s unit at Basildon University Hospital on 19 April and the death of a three-year-old child the previous day.

In a statement issued yesterday, Essex Police said: ‘Detectives are now satisfied that there is no link between the death and the damage to the fluid bags. The death was attributable to natural causes and there will be no inquest.’

‘The investigation into the damage continues,’ the statement added.

Alan Whittle, chief executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he welcomed the police statement.

‘Having spoken to the clinical staff concerned, I was confident that the checks our staff carry out on each individual bag before use mean a damaged bag would not be used. But that needed to be established in fact, by forensic examination, so that there could be no shadow of doubt,’ he said.

Mr Whittle added: ‘I would also like to reassure our local community that, following this incident, we acted swiftly to check stocks of intravenous fluids elsewhere in the hospital. This was completed within 24 hours and no other damaged bags were found.  

‘We have also reviewed our arrangements for storing fluid bags throughout the trust.  We continue to work with the police in their ongoing investigation into the damage and await the conclusion,’ he said.

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