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Hospital pays out for baby death.

Byline: By Rhona Ganguly

A hospital trust has paid pounds 15,000 in an out-of-court settlement to the parents of a nine-month-old boy who died from meningitis.

Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield admitted clinical negligence in their treatment of Kyle Bather, who died on March 12 2002 from meningococcal septicaemia.

The hospital accepted there was a delay in administering antibiotics to the baby after he fell ill at nursery and his mother took him to A&E with a temperature.

But they disputed claims that giving the drugs earlier would have saved his life.

The Bather family's solicitor Sara Burns, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "This is an extremely sad case where failure to take swift and appropriate action has led to tragic consequences.

"Rachel and Martyn Bather went through every parent's worst nightmare and watched their son die. They did all the right things by seeking prompt emergency treatment and entrusted Kyle to the medical experts.

"They believed he was in safe hands."

Mrs Bather, from Sutton Oak Road, Sutton Coldfield, said the family had been left devastated since Kyle's death.

"Taking legal action was a last resort for us and was not about financial compensation as no amount of money can make up for what happened," she explained.

"We felt it was the only way we would gain answers about the circumstances of Kyle's death.

"I am disappointed that the hospital trust still refuses to admit that earlier administering of antibiotics could have made a difference, which contradicts all the published literature that clearly states early treatment saves lives."

Mrs Bather has now pledged to work to make other parents aware of the importance of early treatment and question medical staff thoroughly about it.

In a statement, Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust said Kyle did not have a rash - one of the signs of meningitis - and was treated for a presumed viral infection.

"After admission, Kyle became increasingly unwell and the Trust accepts that a diagnosis of meningococcal septicaemia should have been made earlier and antibiotics, and fluid resuscitation, should have been commenced earlier," it read.

"The Trust deeply regrets that the appropriate action was not taken at the time and wishes to express its deepest sympathy to Kyle's parents and family.

"Unfortunately, it is sometimes very difficult to recognise meningococcal septicaemia in the early stages. The signs and symptoms are non-specific and may not be substantially different from common viral infections.

"Meningococcal septicaemia is a particularly rapidly progressing form of septicaemia, which progresses to organ failure very rapidly and has a high instance of mortality.

"Even if antibiotics and fluid had been given earlier, regrettably the likelihood is that Kyle would still have died."

An investigation has been carried out into Kyle's case and lessons had been learned, the statement added

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 16, 2005
Words:470
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