Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bailey Ratcliffe: Hospital drug mistake led to death

A five-year-old boy died after he was given an "inappropriately high dose" of a drug when he was taken to hospital, a coroner has ruled.

Bailey Ratcliffe died after he was admitted to Dewsbury and District Hospital on 27 May 2009 suffering an epileptic fit, his inquest heard.

Dr Helen Moore apologised in court for mistakes made when Bailey was given the drug phenytoin on her orders.

West Yorkshire Coroner Peter Straker gave a narrative verdict.

He said: "Unfortunately, there were a number of individuals who did not recognise this error and, therefore, did not intervene and prevent Bailey from dying."

'A mistake'

The two-day inquest heard how Bailey had been fitting for three hours when he arrived at the hospital.

He had been given other drugs by his family, paramedics and A&E staff to try and control the fitting but Dr Moore decided it was time to move on to phenytoin.

The doctor admitted she made a mistake in the dosage instructions when she asked a junior doctor to prescribe the drug.

Dr Moore said: "I just made a mistake."

The court heard how Bailey was transferred to a paediatric ward in the hospital but, later that afternoon, he began to deteriorate and stopped breathing.

A full resuscitation team was called in but could not save his life.

Analysis of his blood after death showed it contained at least six times the expected level of phenytoin.

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