Belfast Telegraph

Dying Northern Ireland boy Orin waited three days for bed at hospital

Majella McBride's son, Orin, who died aged 14
Majella McBride's son, Orin, who died aged 14
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A Londonderry boy dying of pancreatitis waited three days for a bed in a Belfast hospital before one became available, an inquest has heard.

Orin McBride (14), of Strabane Old Road in the Waterside area of Londonderry, had a complex medical history, including hydrocephalus, epilepsy and global developmental delay.

He died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) from pancreatitis on June 28, 2015, after falling unconscious while being transferred from Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital.

Orin's mother, Majella, has already told an inquest into her son's death that she did not give doctors permission to switch off life support.

Yesterday, the medical consultant in charge of Orin's treatment said he believed everything possible had been done for him.

Dr Andras Szbo, lead clinician of the multi-disciplinary team treating Orin at the RBHSC, told the inquest at Strabane Court that in hindsight there was nothing he would do differently.

Dr Szbo said Orin had been admitted to the RBHSC in February 2015 for a 10-week period, which included four weeks in paediatric intensive care, when the pancreatitis was discovered.

Orin was discharged from the hospital in May 2015 but was readmitted to intensive care at the hospital on June 19 after his condition began to deteriorate again. It continued to worsen and, on June 28, a decision was made to turn off life support. Orin passed away in his mother's arms a short time later.

Dr Szbo told coroner Patrick McGurgan he believed Orin's treatment was "appropriate and in accordance with recommended guidelines", and if the situation arose today, Orin "would be treated in the same way".

Dr Szbo added: "I spent considerable time reading through the medical notes.

Majella McBride holds a picture of her son, Orin, who died aged 14
Majella McBride holds a picture of her son, Orin, who died aged 14

"I don't feel I personally could have done anything to change the outcome."

Dr Szbo said pancreatitis was extremely rare in children, occurring only twice in every 10,000 incidences, but that in March 2015 medics had found a pseudo-cyst on Orin's pancreas.

Dr Szbo also told the court a number of possible causes for the pancreatitis had been explored, including a change of Orin's epilepsy medicine, which was understood to have a link to pancreatitis, although no actual cause was found.

After treatment, the pseudo-cyst shrunk and Orin's condition improved, so an agreed care plan was put in place in May 2015 that would allow him to be discharged home to his mother.

Dr Szbo described Ms McBride as "brilliant" at caring for Orin, which echoed sentiments expressed earlier by other doctors in their evidence.

Orin's discharge was on the understanding that if he became unwell, he was to be readmitted to the RBHSC, because the pancreatitis had not gone away.

Sadly, his condition deteriorated and he was admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital on June 16, suffering from renal failure before being transferred to the RBHSC three days later when a bed was available.

During the transfer, Orin became unconscious and was admitted to the intensive care unit.

Mr McGurgan asked Dr Szbo if it would have been preferable for Orin to have been transferred immediately to RBHSC on June 16 when he was admitted to Altnagelvin.

Dr Szbo said he "cannot deny that" it would have been better, but stressed he could not comment on the effect of the treatment given during the three days from June 16 to June 19.

As Dr Szbo left the witness box and made his way out of the court, Orin's mother approached him at the door and the pair embraced. The inquest continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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