The Times reports baby loss case and importance of Vitamin K | Fieldfisher
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The Times reports baby loss case and importance of Vitamin K

Samantha Critchley and her clients spoke to the Times to raise awareness of the importance of the Vitamin K injection as they prepare for the inquest into the death of baby William Moris Patto at Cambridgeshire Coroner's court this week.

William died at seven-weeks old after doctors at the Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge mistakenly ticked the box to say William had received the Vitamin K injection when in fact he had not. Vitamin K helps the blood clot to prevent serious bleeding and is usually given to every newborn as part of health checks after birth. 

William went on to suffer an intracranial haemorrhage, known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding or VKDB and was rushed back to hospital. He had suffered a bleed on the brain and despite surgery to relieve pressure died a few days later in hospital.

Williams case notes said he had received the injection and his mother Naomi also asked whether he had received the shot in the hours after birth. She was reassured that all the necessary postnatal care had been carried out. After his death, the hospital raised concerns that he may never have received it.

Up to 1.7 per cent of babies who do not have a vitamin K shot at birth will develop VKBD, which is linked to high rates of infant deaths. Babies born before 37 weeks have a greater risk.

An independent investigation led by Dr Timothy Watts, a consultant neonatologist from Evelina London Children's Hospital, found that systemic factors 'may have led to the failure to prescribe and administer vitamin K [and] led to the tragic death of the patient'.

Naomi told the Times what happened was 'beyond cruel… We will never see William smile'. 

Samantha said: 'Naomi and Alex should have been celebrating William's third birthday this summer, instead of preparing for an inquest into his death.

'It is some comfort that the hospital has apologised for failing to give the vitamin K that resulted in his death and assured them it is committed to changing its practices so that no other family is affected this way.'

The medical negligence claim against Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is ongoing. 

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