MRSA Baby ‘Warning Signs Missed’

Hospital staff missed warning signs in a baby suspected of being the youngest victim of MRSA, an inquest has heard. Luke Day died in Ipswich Hospital, Suffolk, in February 2005, just 36 hours after being born.

Coroner Peter Dean said at the inquest in Ipswich that there was evidence Luke was showing signs of illness 20 hours after being born. He said a hospital inquiry concluded that Luke’s symptoms should have caused staff to review his condition.

The inquiry also concluded there was “no over-arching co-ordination” of Luke’s care, the inquest heard. Dr Dean said Luke was born shortly before 0700 GMT on 2 February but by 0200 GMT the following day he was “grunting” and tests showed that his blood sugar and temperature were low.

“Had warning signs been followed, we cannot say for certain that the outcome would have been different,” Dr Dean said. “But at least the chances would have been better.”

The inquest heard that MRSA was found in Luke’s lungs, heart and spleen. Experts agreed that the baby had died as a result of infection but could not be sure whether the infection was caused by MRSA, the inquest heard.

The inquest is expected to last two days.