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Coroner Asks Police To Investigate

Tuesday June 11 2013


Barnsley Hospital Barnsley Hospital


A CORONER is to ask police to investigate a doctor whose error led to the death of a baby.

Summer Hawcroft was born at 27 weeks at Barnsley Hospital by emergency Caesarean section on April 23, 2011.

She was on a ventilator when her breathing tube dislodged, starving her of oxygen. Summer went into cardiac arrest and died at just 49 days old.

Coroner Chris Dorries has asked police to investigate the conduct of paediatric consultant Dr Vishwanath Kamoji, who was on duty on May 4 when the tube was dislodged.

The court had previously heard from Professor Simon Mitchell, a consultant at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, who said there were several clinical failings by Dr Kamoji which amounted to a 'fundamental error'.

Prof Mitchell said there was a failure to diagnose that the tube had been dislodged, to check the tube had been inserted correctly, secure Summer's airway and listen to concerns of other staff.

There was a 'window' of 30 minutes before Dr Kamoji reacted and had the breathing tube changed. In the end he called for a second opinion before changing the tube.

Experts told the inquest the tube had been fitted incorrectly by Dr Kamoji and it was probable the baby was starved of oxygen during this time, leading to the brain injury.

Summer weighed just two pounds and two ounces when she was born. She had made good progress but started to suffer breathing problems and began to deteriorate in the early hours of May 4.

Coroner Chris Dorries said: "I find this an immensely difficult decision because I appreciate life can be difficult for doctors when acting in emergency situations.

"But overall I take the view that the delay was extraordinary, and it's a matter where I should ask the police to review the facts."

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