Mother whose son died after waiting for intensive care bed wants changes
PUBLISHED: 16:02 08 June 2011
A mother whose baby son died after waiting 12 hours to be transferred to intensive care for serious breathing problems is demanding that lessons are learnt from his death.
Rubi Bahar’s son Tawhid Muhammad Abu died when a respiratory tract infection deteriorated three days after he was admitted to The Royal London hospital in March last year.
Doctors recommended that the 18-month-old, who had Down’s syndrome, was put on a special ventilator called a CPAP.
But a glitch in the way beds are allocated for the most serious cases meant that Tawhid was not transferred to the paediatric critical care unit when recommended in the early hours of March 14.
A space was found in the afternoon, but Tawhid went into cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated.
Devastated Mrs Bahar, of Essian Street, Mile End, who has three other children, said: “Even if my son only had a one per cent chance of survival, he deserved to be given that chance.
“Why did it take so long for a child to get a bed?
“I just don’t want this to happen to any other family.”
A report into his death by the hospital found that “no PCCU bed was available at the point when the child initially required CPAP” and added that “bed management was less rigorous than it could have been”.
The report also said that there were a limited number of beds – six for the children’s intensive care unit.
Tawhid was given the ventilator treatment on the children’s ward a few hours before he died.
Barts and The London NHS Trust said an investigation found that “appropriate and timely clinical care was provided at all times”.
A spokesman added: “Our investigation concluded that lack of access to an intensive care ward did not contribute to Tawhid’s death. Better bed management, however, would have allowed Tawhid to be moved to an intensive care ward as soon as his condition deteriorated and we regret this did not happen. We have taken measures to ensure speedier access to paediatric intensive care beds when they are needed.”
Mrs Bahar is discussing the case with lawyers.