Fresh expert evidence halts Sophie Burgess inquest

Sophie Burgess Image copyright Leigh Day / PA
Image caption Sophie Burgess suffered a series of seizures triggered by a reaction to infections

An inquest has been suspended to allow police to reinvestigate the death of a baby girl who died after being given a fatal drug overdose in hospital.

Sophie Burgess, who was 11 months old, had a seizure on 16 June last year.

She was taken to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, and died after an overdose of the anti-seizure drug phenytoin.

Surrey Police asked the Woking coroner to halt the inquest to allow officers to re-examine the case after fresh expert evidence emerged at the hearing.

During the last two months of her life, Sophie suffered a series of seizures triggered by a reaction to infections.

'Drug not needed'

The inquest heard this week that Dr Lojein Hatahet and paediatric consultant Dr Fiona MacCarthy had attempted to administer the anti-seizure drug using an automated syringe-driver.

It failed to work and it was decided Dr Hatahet would administer the drug from a handheld syringe, despite the protests of nurse Polly Leavold, who said the drug was not needed and that giving it by hand was against the hospital's protocol.

A Surrey Police spokesman said the investigation into the circumstances of the baby's death would be re-examined "in light of new expert testimony presented at the coroner's court".

"We are keeping an open mind, and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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