Medic ‘could not recall’ worries over tragic South Yorkshire baby

Summer Hawcroft, a 2 month old baby who died at Barnsley Hospital last year.
Summer Hawcroft, a 2 month old baby who died at Barnsley Hospital last year.

A HOSPITAL consultant caring for a premature baby who suffered severe brain damage told an inquest he ‘couldn’t remember’ a nurse raising concerns when he strapped a breathing tube onto the infant’s face with abrasive tape.

Tiny Summer Hawcroft was on a ventilator in Barnsley Hospital’s special care baby unit when the tube dislodged, starving her of oxygen.

She went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated, but later died at just 49 days old in Sheffield’s Jessop Wing in June 2011.

Locum paediatric consultant Dr Vishwanath Kamoji told Sheffield Coroner’s Court he saw Summer while on call at just after midnight on May 4 last year.

Dr Kamoji said he was told the baby’s breathing tube had accidentally dislodged, but it was replaced by the time he arrived on the ward.

The consultant said he then decided to insert a bigger tube, which took two attempts, securing it with zinc oxide tape.

“I fixed it using two long tapes, one passing along the upper lip,” Dr Kamoji added.

A nurse on the unit, sister Zoe Whittaker, previously told the inquest tubes were normally secured using a device called a Neo-Fit.

She said Dr Kamoji was ‘very forceful’ in wanting to use the tape, adding: “I did find it strange. I’ve never seen it used like that before.”

Sister Whittaker also said she expressed her concerns.

But Dr Kamoji said: “I cannot remember that conversation.”

He later chose not to answer questions about whether he ordered an X-ray to check the position of the tube.

Summer was born at 27 weeks to builder Stephen Hawcroft, 37, and his wife Michaela, 26, of Kendray.

The inquest continues.