Parents of one-month-old Derbyshire baby girl who died after medics made “error" administering drug speak of pain (cloned)

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The parents of a one-month-old Derbyshire baby who girl died after medics at made "an error" while administering drugs at Chesterfield Royal Hospital have spoken of the “pain” of living since the tot’s death.

Amber Cutts and Lee Claytons’ daughter Orla died on July 11, 2020, having suffered from prolonged supraventricular tachycardia - where the heart beats much faster than normal.

She was given a dose of tachycardia drug Adenosine prior to her death, having been admitted to Chesterfield Royal Hospital on the same day.

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An inquest into the circumstances surrounding Orla’s death – looking at GP involvement leading up to her hospital admission and an “error” made by nurses while administering the drug – will commence in the coming weeks.

Baby Orla Clayton aged one monthBaby Orla Clayton aged one month
Baby Orla Clayton aged one month

During a pre-inquest review in May 2023 coroner Susan Evans heard nurses at the hospital had already “admitted” an “error” who while giving the Adenosine dose.

However she added clinicians had agreed it was “unlikely” the mistake had caused the baby’s death.

Ahead of the full inquest, devastated Tibshelf mum and dad Amber, 36, and Lee, 29, are demanding answers over the circumstances surrounding their baby girl’s death.

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Speaking about what happened back in July 2020 when Orla died, Lee, head of IT at an automotive manufacturer, said: "When Orla was transferred to HDU we were advised to wait in a separate room.

Baby Orla with her familyBaby Orla with her family
Baby Orla with her family

"We said goodbye to Orla before we left.

"I remember giving Orla a kiss and telling her to be brave and be strong, that daddy’s here and we would be back soon.

“That was the last time we saw Orla awake and it’s a memory that haunts us every day.

"I’m not the slightest bit religious, but I remember waiting in a room and praying ‘please can she be okay.’

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“When Orla died it was beyond our worst imaginable nightmare. We were given Orla as we wanted to hold her.

"I have no idea how long we were sat there for, we just sat there cuddling, crying, speaking and singing to her.

“Leaving hospital was absolutely crippling. We tried to leave the room around five times, but we didn’t quite manage it as we didn’t want Orla to be on her own.

"We were asking who was going to be with her, and a nice lady who took Orla’s handprints promised that she would stay with Orla until she finished her shift.

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“When we were leaving hospital, I was carrying Orla’s car seat and I knew it was too light as it didn’t have her in it.

"I felt absolutely broken driving home and remember thinking that it was the same way that we drove home when we were bringing her home from hospital just a month before when she was born.

“To this day we remember moments that stop us in our tracks. Small things like going to the supermarket and seeing or hearing something brings everything back.

"The first time I went to a toy shop with Archie after we’d lost Orla, I remember walking past the little girls’ aisle and my heart sinking.”

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Amber, a self-employed hairdresser, added: “The day Orla died our lives changed forever.

"It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe the pain we live with each day.

"Orla was the most adorable little girl and we feel so blessed that she is our daughter, but wish more than anything that she could still be with us today.

“We’ll forever cherish the time we got to spend with her, but it devastates us that she’s no longer with us, growing, developing and causing mischief with her brothers.

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“Nothing will ever fill the void in all our lives that has been created by Orla’s death.

“While the years have passed the hurt of losing Orla hasn’t eased.

“We know the inquest and listening to the evidence is going to extremely upsetting but it’s something we need to do to at least establish answers in Orla’s memory - we promised her that.

"The inquest is something that we’ve been pushing for, for the last three years.”

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The hearing is set to examine the care Orla - who had two brothers, Archie and Jude, aged 10 and two – received, including in the days before her death in July 2020.

Speaking at Orla’s pre-inquest review in May, coroner Susan Evans told Amber and Lee: “Clinicians agree the cause of death is unlikely to be an error in the administration of Adenosine.

"Although it’s clearly accepted there was an error in the administration.”

The full inquest – expected to last up to five days – will also include evidence from the family’s GP and “missed opportunities” the day before Orla’s hospital admission.

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Laura Robinson, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “Amber, Lee and the rest of Orla’s family remain devastated by her tragic death and the circumstances surrounding it. Understandably they continue to have a number of questions.

“While nothing can bring Orla back, the inquest is a major milestone in being able to provide them with the answers they deserve.

“If during the course of the inquest any issues in the care Orla received are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety.”