Hospital failed four-year-old heart surgery boy

A hospital has apologised to the parents of a four-year-old boy who died after heart surgery when he was left so dehydrated he tried to suck moisture from wet wipes.
Little Sean Turner died in 2012 after suffering a brain haemorrhage following a cardiac arrest, six weeks after he had major heart surgery.
A health Ombudsman has now ruled that Bristol Children’s Hospital was guilty of both maladministration and service failure.
The Ombudsman has listed 22 failings in a damning 223-page report, and said that Sean was denied the best possible chance of survival by the doctors and nurses who should have been caring for him.
Little Sean was left so dehydrated that his parents say they found him sucking wet wipes to try to get some moisture into his mouth.
The report said his fluid levels were not monitored as they should be, to an extent that he was so clinically dehydrated his life was at risk. Even though he was dangerously dehydrated, he was still given diuretic medication, which leads to further fluid loss.
In another shocking incident, medical staff gave the little boy clot-busting treatment for three days instead of the six hours which are recommended.
The health watchdog said Sean’s condition was clearly so serious that he should have been moved back to intensive care rather than remaining on a non high dependency ward.
Other failings identified included systematic failings by nurses who failed to provide the standard of care expected and did not carry out proper checks.
The Trust was also found not to have been open with Sean’s parents about the care he was receiving.
Although the findings did not go as far as saying that Sean would definitely have survived if the trust had provided better care, the Ombudsman did order health bosses to write an open and honest acknowledgement of the failings he had identified along with an apology. Sean’s parents will now never know whether he could have survived if given the right treatment.
The Trust’s chief executive released a statement, which said: “I am deeply sorry for our failings in care and for the impact they had on Sean and his family. We want to get our care right for every child, every time, and I bitterly regret that we didn’t do this for Sean.”
Little Sean had been born with his heart on the right side of his body and underwent surgery to correct this.