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Child dies of brain damage following hospital operation

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

7-year-old Luke Jenkins died after undergoing heart surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital, despite expectations of a full recovery following the op.  During the procedure, his heart went into cardiac arrest, which resulted in him suffering severe brain damage and his subsequent death. Even though Avon coroner Maria Voisin heard that there was “no evidence of gross failure” in the hospital’s care, Luke’s mother argues that his death could have been prevented.

Luke, from Cardiff, was born with a congenital heart defect that required major surgery.  Only a week after this surgery, 30th of March 2012, there was a major bleed in his chest that required urgent medical attention.  Luke’s father, Stephen Jenkins, said that upon arrival at the hospital there was “panic and disorganisation” among hospital staff on Ward 32.

Requested transfer to intensive care denied

Despite Ms Voisin declaring that she was happy with how the hospital handled the incident, a health trust report revealed numerous errors that contributed to Luke’s death: these included major staff shortages and staff being unsure of where the resuscitation equipment was.  Luke’s father requested that his son was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit, which was denied.

Luke first complained of chest pain on the 2nd of April, after which he suffered the cardiac arrest, and by the 9th his parents made the decision to turn off his life support machine.  Legal action has not as of yet been ruled out as the family still has many concerns about the treatment of their son.

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