Toddler died 'after test not done'
Published 16/08/2013 | 15:22
A sick toddler died in hospital after an important heart test was not done because it was the weekend, an inquest has heard.
Dylan Brown died in Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge, west London, on May 13 last year after suffering three cardiac arrests.
The two-year-old, who had an underlying cardiomyopathy, disease of the heart muscle, could have had an echocardiogram (ECG) which uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart.
Dr Nagi Barakat, a consultant paediatrician at Hillingdon, told the inquest at West London Coroner's Court: "It was not done because it was the weekend and they are not normally done at the weekend."
He did not say why they are not normally done at this time. As attempts were made to resuscitate the toddler, his parents were not allowed into the room with him.
Christine Mann, the hospital's matron and nursing services manager, apologised to them, saying one reason they were excluded was because of staff shortages. She also apologised for the parents, feeling they were not given enough information about discussions involving Dylan.
She said: "I have no excuses. They should have been allowed to be with him throughout all the resuscitation. They should most definitely have been with him."
Though Dylan, of Uxbridge, was being treated at Hillingdon, Dr Barakat was in telephone contact with a children's heart specialist from Great Ormond Street Hospital to discuss the case.
Dr Shankar Sridharan, the medic from Great Ormond Street Hospital, said though an ECG would have helped, there was no reason to conduct one at the time. He said that when he was contacted about Dylan's case on the day before he died there was no clinical evidence the youngster needed an ECG.
The coroner Lorna Tagliavini recorded a verdict of death from natural causes. She said there were no failings in Dylan's care and he was treated "appropriately".