Twenty one babies have been infected due to a contaminated drip, killing one and leaving at least one more fighting for its life. The babies were being treated in ten hospitals around England when they became infected.
The babies had been given a fluid called parenteral nutrition which intravenously gives children nutrients when they aren’t able to eat on their own. The infections resulted in cases of septicaemia and have been “strongly linked” to an intravenous fluid.
The situation developed rapidly over the weekend with one baby after another becoming infected, triggering a frantic search for the cause of the life threatening infection. It wasn’t until wednesday that it was discovered the cause was a contaminated batch of liquid feed.
The liquid feed was being used in 22 hospitals across the country and has since been recalled. The short shelf life of the product means any unrecalled feed would have been discarded already.
As a result of the contamination, Yousef Al-Kharboush died on the 31st of May at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Yousef and his twin brother had been put on life support after being born eight weeks premature. Yousef later fell seriously ill after being infected with the bacterium bacillus cereus, he died two days later.
Yusuf’s father, Raaid Hassan Sakkijha, told of the agony of seeing his son deteriorate. He hopes inquiries into his son’s death can help save other children from suffering the same fate.
The manufacturer of the product, ITH Pharma, says there is no need for any more families to be concerned as the contaminated batch has been withdrawn. ITH Pharma said there will be no further batches distributed until an investigation is carried out.
Karen Hamling, the managing director of London-based firm ITH Pharma, said: “We are co-operating with all of our regulatory bodies because we want to ensure something like this never happens again.”
ITH Pharma is inspected every 3 to 5 years and was last inspected April 2012. The company says all staff go through a “rigorous and continuous” training programme which is led by an in house team.
Public health chief Paul Cosford has said a full investigation is underway to determine what went wrong, the investigation will be carried out by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority.
A collision between two school buses has led to 28 children being admitted to hospital, with one child in a severe condition. The collision occurred early morning in Stanley as the children were being taken to St Bede’s Catholic School and Tanfield School.
The buses were carrying 50 children and two adults when the collision occurred on the A693 at 8.20am.
The accident took place when one of the buses swerved across the road into the path of the other bus. A witness on the scene said they saw the bus going down hill on the wrong side of the road and then heard a loud crash.
One child and a bus driver both had to be airlifted to hospital while the majority of children suffered opened wounds and broken bones.The worst injury was suffered by a young boy who received severe damage to his face.
The children were helped by members of the public until emergency workers got to the scene. One of the first people on the scene was Michael Davison who boarded both buses, fighting through smoke to reach the bleeding and screaming children.
Mr Davison said: “I ran over to the buses. There was smoke pouring from the engines, coming from batteries of the vehicles and it was choking everyone. I was really frightened they were going to catch fire and I knew I had to get as many people off as I could.”
There were fears that a fire would soon erupt so getting the children off the buses was a priority of the first people to arrive.
Thirteen ambulances were sent to the scene at 8:22am as well as a specialist unit, the Hazardous Area Response Team. The fire brigade were next to arrive at the scene. The injured students were taken to RVI, the University Hospital of North Durham and the Queen Elizabeth in Gateshead.
One local mother has told reporters: “The firefighters and emergency services deserve a medal for the way they have all come together. It is carnage but it is quite organised carnage.”
Durham Police chief inspector Elaine Taylor said while the accident was serious, the outcome could have been much worse. Police are still investigating the exact causes of the bus crash and interviewing witnesses.
Police are investigating a firm which hired out a pump to the Gbangbola family used to pump water out of their home in February due to flooding caused by heavy rain. It was found that carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the pump led to the death of seven year old, Zane Gbangbola, and paralysed his father from the waist down.
Zane Gbangbola and his parents become ill in February when using a petrol-driven pump to remove water from their home in Chertsey, Surrey. They were admitted to hospital on the 6th of February after calling an ambulance.
Zane and his father, Kye, suffered cardiac arrests which resulted in Zanes death and Mr Gbangbola being paralysed from the waist down. An autopsy on Zane was inconclusive which led to further tests being undertaken by a pathologist. It was determined the cause of death was due to carbon monoxide intoxication.
A petrol pump was taken from the house to be examined and an investigation has been launched by Surrey Police to determine if there is any liability or criminal offence in respect to the company who hired out the equipment.
There are still a number of unanswered questions in regards to what toxins were in the house on the night of Zanes death. His family are still waiting for the full post-mortem report which will be provided to the coroner when a full inquest into Zanes death is carried out.
Leigh Day, who is representing the Gbangbola family, said: ‘We await further information provided by other agencies following their investigations, as many questions still remain unanswered into what toxins were present within the property on the night of Zane’s death.”
Residence in the area have blamed the the council and Environment Agency for not making residence more aware of the dangers of poisoning when using petrol-driven pumps to remove water from properties.
A petition has received 1800 signatures and is targeting 100,000 in order for a debate to be open in parliament regarding the death of Zane Gbangbola.
The tragedy occurred in a period where much of Britain was devastated by floods. The met office described the storm as the worst in 248 years, with 80 mph gales affecting the Surrey area.
The NHS is set to be hit with a £24m compensation bill for a girl that has had glue injected into her brain, after it was mistaken for dye. 10 year old Maisha Najeeb, described as being happy and active, was left with catastrophic and permanent brain damage that she will never recover from. As well as being virtually unable to move, Maisha has been left blind in one eye. A financial package has been determined that means the NHS will have to pay an initial £2.8m plus annual payments until she dies.
Doctors and surgeons in the UKL typically provide a high level of service to patients, but mistakes do happen, and while some may pass with little consequence, there are those that can leave patients in serious physical and emotional distress.
Patients that do suffer at the hands of negligence by doctors are able to seek compensation. Negligence must be proven on the part of the doctor or healthcare institution, and lawyers must be able to prove that there has been a negative impact and loss suffered by the claimant. Compensation figures do vary, but those incidents that lead to brain damage and life-threatening illnesses and injuries are those that typically carry the largest settlement figures. Compensation packages of £1m or more are not uncommon in these instances.
Maisha was a healthy and active ten year old girl but she suffered from a rare condition called arterio-venous malformation. This means that her arteries and veins could become tangled leading to bleeding. When a bleed did occur, Maisha would visit Great Ormond Street hospital to seal off the veins using glue. Dye was applied in order to determine where to apply the glue. However, in this case, surgeons applied the glue instead of the dye leading to the problems.
The hospital admitted liability, and the NHS has been told to pay an initial fee of £2.8m followed by annual payments of £383,000 a year until she turns 19 and £423,000 a year thereafter. Experts called by the girl’s family say that she could live until she is 64 and this would mean a total bill of more than £24m.
Figures obtained by the Employment Law Advisory Service show a worrying trend of increasing personal injury cases involving children at school. Over the period of five years, £3.3m has been paid out, although these figures only include three major cities, so the real cost is likely to be much higher. 1,980 personal injury claims were submitted against primary and secondary schools in Birmingham, Manchester, and London during that period, with approximately a quarter proving successful.
Personal injury is the legal term that is associated with any injury to the body that has been caused by the negligence of another. Such cases have become increasingly common in adults, with gangs of fraudulent criminals even acting together in order to try and make substantial claims. Injuries not only include physical injuries, but may also include injuries to the mind or emotions, and the size of compensation packages is typically determined by the severity and effects of the injuries themselves.
The Metropolitan areas of London, Manchester, and Birmingham have nearly 15 million residents, which is about a quarter of all the people living in the UK. London had the largest bill, with claims totalling £1.6m across its 33 boroughs, but Manchester had £1.5m of claims in just 10 boroughs and Birmingham had to pay out a total of £190,000.
In terms of the injuries that led to claims, a £56,000 payment was made to one child who had collided with another on an inflatable slide. £13,500 was paid to one child who had slipped on a wet floor. In total, across the three cities, nearly 2,000 claims were made in the five year period and almost a quarter of them were successful and led to children being awarded payment.
Critics say that it is fostering a culture where children are no longer able to take the risks associated with growing up. However, if a child does suffer injury and requires care and medical treatment then they have the right to seek compensation. Care costs, medical costs, and a parents’ loss of earnings can soon add up, and it is these costs that compensation aims to cover.
The scandal surrounding asbestos found in UK schools continues to build up steam as a government advisory committee has said that children are more likely to develop asbestos related diseases over the course of their lifetime than adults. The increased likelihood of developing diseases like mesothelioma stems from the fact that children will typically live longer and therefore have longer to develop symptoms. Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can take 40 years or more to fully develop.
In February 2008 an ITN report found that a System Built School contained materials made from asbestos. The same report also highlighted the fact that many other schools across the country could have similar problems and that children were being exposed to the potential dangers of the material on a daily basis while in their classrooms. October 2008 saw a BBC report with similar findings and, since then, a number of cases have been highlighted.
Most recently, a Freedom of Information request made to Warrington Borough Council unearthed the fact that 80% of schools in the Warrington area contained asbestos. Of 90 schools in the region, 72 of them were found to contain the deadly material.
The naturally occurring mineral was used as a cheap and beneficial building material between the 1950s and the year 2000 even following evidence that it could be potentially very dangerous. Companies were stopped from using the material and laws and guidelines put in place for the proper and safe management of the material. However, asbestos is still commonly found in many locations including homes, offices, garages, and schools.
It is argued that asbestos is safe when it is in good condition. It is the spores and the fibre of the material that get into and damage the lungs and lining of the lungs. However, as the condition of schools and other buildings deteriorate it is possible that the asbestos will be disturbed and the dangerous material released into the breathable atmosphere. Not only would this put teachers and staff at risk but children attending the schools could be put in danger of contracting any of a number of potentially deadly asbestos related diseases.
Asbestosis and mesothelioma are among two of the diseases commonly associated with exposure to asbestos spores. These diseases can take 20 to 40 years or more to fully develop and this means that somebody exposed at the age of 50 or 60 would be a lot less likely to suffer from the diseases than somebody exposed at a younger age. The findings of the government committee not only mirror this but take it one step further.
Campaigners have lobbied for asbestos to be removed from all schools but the government continues to deny that this is necessary, stating that schools in a good condition do not pose a risk. They say, in fact, that removal of the asbestos may cause a greater risk than carefully and properly managing the building and its use of asbestos related materials.