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Doctor and Two Nurses Charged With Manslaughter: Mistake over “Do Not Resuscitate Order”

Doctor and Two Nurses Charged With Manslaughter: Mistake over “Do Not Resuscitate Order”

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that a doctor and two nurses from a hospital in Leicestershire have been charged with manslaughter following the death of a six-year-old boy. It is alleged that a doctor ordered attempts to resuscitate to be halted, after Jack Adcock was mistaken for another patient who had been discharged earlier in the day.

Mistaken identity: Consultant interrupted resuscitation efforts

Six-year-old Jack Adcock suffered from Down’s syndrome and was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary on 18 February 2011 with severe sickness and diarrhea. Later that day he developed pneumonia and septic shock, and died of pneumonia shortly after. However, an inquest into his death, held at Leicestershire Town Hall in July 2012, was postponed after the doctor who had been treating him – pediatrician Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba – revealed that attempts to resuscitate Jack had been prematurely terminated.

Speaking at the inquest Dr Bawa-Garba said she had interrupted the resuscitation efforts, as she had believed that Jack was under a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order. She said that she had mistaken Jack for another patient on the ward – who had been under a DNR order – but had been discharged earlier in the day. Upon realising her mistake, she had returned with a team of medics to resume resuscitation but to no avail.

Jack’s mother, Nicola Grey, told the inquest that she was in tears when she saw medics removing Jack’s tubes. She recalled the doctor returning to the room in a rush shortly after treatment had been withdrawn, proclaiming; “He can have everything”. Ms Grey then reported that she was “shoved out of the room”.

Sufficient evidence to charge medical staff for negligence

In a statement, the CPS has now confirmed that it considers there is enough evidence to charge Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, along with two nurses, Theresa Taylor and Isabel Amaro, with gross negligence and manslaughter. All three have been ordered to appear at Leicester magistrates’ court in January 2015.

Specialist prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service special crime division, Fiona Morrison, said “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by Leicestershire police into the treatment and care of Jack Adcock.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Dr Bawa-Garba, Sister Taylor and Staff Nurse Amaro to each face charges of gross negligence manslaughter”.

In tribute to her son, Ms Grey said:

“Jack loved life and life loved Jack. The room lit up when he walked in. He broke so many hearts wherever he went.

“We miss him so much. Our life is empty, painful and horrible without Jack, and will never be the same again. He was an amazing son, such a special little boy who was one in a million. Jack was such a tough cookie”.

How to obtain compensation for poor care and negligence while in hospital

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you.

If you have concerns about the medical care that you have received, please contact a member of the IBB clinical negligence team. Our goal at IBB Solicitors is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

How to fund your medical or NHS negligence compensation claim

Please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to malcolm.underhill@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.