COUNTY NEWS: Sussex family to take legal action over premature baby's death
The mother of a premature baby girl, who died after a doctor stopped resuscitating her so he could take a phone call, is taking legal action against the hospital where her daughter died.
Isabellina Brewerton died on October 31, 2013, at just 33 days old.
Mother Jay Brewerton, from Haslam Crescent, Bexhill, gave birth to Isabellina 13 weeks early.
Weighing just 2lb 2oz, she was transferred from East Surrey Hospital to the neonatal unit at St George’s Hospital in South London.
Isabellina’s condition deteriorated and medical staff tried to save her.
The doctor trying to resuscitate Isabellina broke off to answer his phone, leaving the baby in the care of a nurse.
She died soon afterwards, having suffered multiple organ failure.
A hospital investigation concluded that the doctor taking a call ‘had no bearing on the outcome’.
But Jay, who was able to touch her precious daughter just seven times in those 33 days, says she feels there are still question marks surrounding Isabellina’s death.
She said: “There was a catalogue of errors which occurred causing the consultant to be called into the hospital in the middle of the night to assist the junior doctor in charge.”
But for three years, the family could not find a solicitor willing to take on the case.
Jay said: “As the compensation rules are so pitiful here in the UK, just £11,800 for any death of any age on the NHS, RTA or airline crash caused by negligence, it meant no medical negligence solicitor was interested, not one of the top 10 or any of the dozens of others I contacted in the last three years, unless you can fund the case, which I was warned could run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“With no maternity medical insurance in place, there is no funding if something does go wrong.”
But last month a firm of solicitors, which originally rejected Jay’s case, offered to represent her and fund the case, just days before the legal limit to claim was about to expire. Jay said she was ‘elated’ at the news.
She said: “There is no guarantee that we will get the truth, or an apology - that’s not occurred in three years I have little hope it will now - but at least we will establish the actual facts.”
Last week St George’s Hospital was placed in Special Measures after being rated ‘inadequate’ by the CQC.
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