Newham Hospital rules revised after baby twin death

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital - Credit: Archant

The death of a month-old baby twin hours after leaving Newham University Hospital has led to the introduction of a new written checklist for premature parents.

Favour Eroghen died on January 9, 2014, barely eight weeks after entering the world through an emergency caesarian-section in Homerton Hospital, alongside surviving sister Beverly.

The previous night she began struggling to breathe and crying at an unusual pitch, prompting her to be rushed to Newham just after 9.30am but pronounced dead within the hour after attempts to revive her failed.

Coroner Nadia Persaud ruled the death “could not reasonably have been prevented” in her narrative verdict.

Although a fatal sepsis combined with her prematurity and growth problems in the womb were given as official causes of death at Walthamstow Coroners’ Court on Monday, mother Elizabeth argued her loss was caused by lack of instruction from hospital staff.

While she received resuscitation training from Homerton hospital when Beverly was allowed home, Elizabeth claimed she hadn’t been offered the same from Newham and said members of staff had not spoken to her about her support needs.

“I cannot believe it,” she told the Recorder outside court. “It’s horrible and I won’t accept it.”

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“If I had money and could afford a lawyer it would have been a different outcome.”

Nurse Sonymol Joseph, who fed Favour during her final night in hospital, told the court her offer of resuscitation training had been rejected by the mother whom she had also told to call 999 or 111 in any emergency.

Confusingly, the girls’ father George Akpan also told her that Elizabeth’s sister in America would be coming over to help for two weeks, despite no such family member existing.

Elizabeth, was living in Chaucer Avenue, Forest Gate, in emergency accommodation provided by the Home Office at the time of her daughter’s death.

In court she cradled surviving twin Beverly during the proceedings, but walked out in distress on several occasions.

As a result of Favour’s tragic death, Barts NHS Trust now give every parent of a premature child a written checklist that includes instructions on what to do in an emergency.

In a statement to the Recorder following the verdict, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Our team in the Newham neonatal department was deeply saddened by the death of Favour Eroghen.

“We note that the Coroner found that our staff did all they could in caring for Favour.

“We take particular care to ensure that parents of premature babies are given the guidance and support they require so that they feel confident and ready to welcome their baby home.

This includes extensive practical support for caring for premature babies prior to their discharge, and a guidance pack containing helpful information on discharge.”

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