Cassian Curry: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals issues apology over death of ‘miracle’ baby two days after birth
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'Small but strong' Cassian, was born at 28 weeks and weighed 1lb 10oz on April 3, 2021 at the Jessop Wing maternity unit in Sheffield at 28 weeks, but died in the early hours of April 5 - over the Easter Bank Holiday.
On the first day of the inquest into his death, held at Sheffield Coroner's Court on Tuesday, April 19, his parents, Karolina and James, expressed concerns about their son's treatment, including claims that the neonatal was understaffed owing to the Easter weekend.
They also raised concerns about the management of Cassian's umbilical venous catheter, after he was placed on total parenteral nourishment following his delivery, which was administered via an umbilical venous catheter.
The inquest will determine if the catheter was positioned inappropriately, too close to Cassian's heart, and whether there was a failure to assess and relocate it.
The inquest heard that Karolina noticed her son's heart rate increasing to more than 200 beats per minute twice but was assured by medical personnel that it was normal.
She also expressed concern about Cassian's lack of bowel movements, which she interpreted as a sign that he was not feeding properly.
She said: “We know that no apology will lessen the pain of Cassian’s death for his parents and family, but we are so very sorry for what happened, and we have already provided Mr and Mrs Curry with a full explanation of what happened and the changes we have made since his death.
“Whilst staffing numbers on the Neonatal Unit that weekend were appropriate and within national recommendations it was very busy and regrettably there was human error in terms of the management of Cassian’s umbilical venous catheter.
“This was a very rare incident, and everyone involved in Cassian’s care is devastated. There has been a full review of what happened, and changes have already been made to limit the chances of this happening again.”
‘A miracle baby’
Cassian was conceived through an IVF treatment, after multiple unsuccessful attempts by the parents to have a child of their own.
Karolina said Cassian was her and her husband James Curry's 'miracle baby' after James was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The statement, which was read out by Assistant Coroner Abigail Combes, said that the cancer had started to spread further up to his body, which required not only surgery to remove a testicle, but chemotherapy treatment, which also reduced his fertility, meaning IVF treatment was needed.
Cassian’s funeral was held on April 30, 2021 and he was cremated.
In March, the Trust's maternity services had been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), but the neonatal unit was not part of the inspection.
The hearing has been adjourned to this morning, here the hospital staff in charge of Cassian's care are scheduled to give their evidence.
The coroner is expected to return with a conclusion on Friday, April 22.