Baby died of blood infection two days after being sent home from hospital in Sheffield

Sheffield Coroner's Court, where the inquest was held
Sheffield Coroner's Court, where the inquest was held

A baby girl died of blood poisoning less than two days after being sent home from hospital in Sheffield, an inquest heard.

Aysha Holubova’s parents took the six-month-old to the emergency department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on the evening of Saturday, July 8 last year.
They were worried because she had a a persistent cough and runny nose, and had not been feeding well.

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She was diagnosed with a minor viral infection of the throat, for which she was given a local anaesthetic spray to help her feed and was also prescribed Ibuprofen.

Having been kept in for a couple of hours, after which she was feeding better and no symptoms of anything more serious were detected, she was discharged at around midnight.

Two days later, on July 10, she was rushed to the children’s hospital with septic shock, and she was pronounced dead later that afternoon when efforts to resuscitate her failed.

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Dr Rachel Riddell, a consultant at the children’s hospital, said Aysha’s cause of death was given as a group A streptococcal infection, leading to septicaemia – or blood poisoning - and septic shock.

Sheffield Coroner’s Court today heard how Aysha’s parents, of Firth Park Road, had been concerned about her health for some time.

On June 22, they took her to Upwell Street Surgery, near Grimesthorpe, as she had a cough and runny nose.

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Dr Joanne Cannon, who saw her that day, told the court she believed Aysha had either a mild virus or hayfever, and she had prescribed saline nose drops and told the parents to return if they had any concerns.

On July 5, Aysha was back at the practice, where she was this time seen by Dr Dilip Dhillon, who told the court Aysha’s parents had been concerned she had a high temperature as well as a cough and runny nose.

But when her temperature was checked that day, it was found to be normal and, having checked her over, Dr Dhillon said he had advised Aysha’s parents to give her Ibuprofen and look out for any decline in her condition.

All three doctors who saw Aysha before July 10 told the court they had checked for the common warning signs of sepsis, including a rash, dehydration and trouble breathing, but none had been present.

Asked why Aysha’s blood had not been tested for a bacterial infection, Dr Alexandra Damazar, who saw Aysha at hospital on July 8, said there had been nothing to suggest this was necessary.

Questioned why antibiotics had not been prescribed, Dr Cannon told the court bacterial infections were very rare in babies and when antibiotics are given inappropriately there can be harmful side effects including vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as reduced resistance against future infections.

The inquest is expected to conclude tomorrow.