Harpenden mother blames Luton hospital as inquest into baby’s death opens

Léo Stacey

Léo Stacey - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden mother has laid the blame for her baby’s death on Luton and Dunstable hospital.

Nathalie Aubry-Stacey, 38, has today been giving evidence to the inquest into the death of 19-month-old Léo Stacey.

She told Bedford coroner Martin Oldham: “I firmly believe if Léo had received competent and timely care when he was taken to hospital, then he would not have died and then Marc and I and the rest of our family would not then have been left scarred and devastated by these events.”

Léo died on Tuesday, October 6 2015 after his parents, Mrs Aubry-Stacey and Marc Stacey, 37, brought him to the hospital because he was lethargic and vomiting.

Mrs Aubry-Stacey, a French-born director of International Capital Market Association, said: “There was ample information to diagnose that Léo needed to be referred to a paediatric surgeon, but this was not done in a timely way.

“It was not taken into sufficient account that Léo had: vomited so many times prior to his admission, not opened his bowels since the day before, got so dehydrated, got so lethargic, vomited blood before and whilst in hospital, passed blood in his poo whilst in hospital, needed investigation by abdominal X-ray to establish the diagnosis.”

She said when Léo had a cardiac arrest, electric defibrillator shocks were delivered in adult doses, rather than paediatric doses.

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Leo’s parents first became concerned about him on the evening of October 4, 2015, when he vomited and retched.

They took Léo to a GP, who said to spoon-feed him fluids.

But the following evening, blood appeared in Léo’s vomit and the couple called 999 at 5.15pm. Although the paramedic arrived at 6.14pm, an ambulance did not arrive until 7.58pm.

A&E staff noticed he was lethargic and had abdominal problems, and a doctor ordered he be given fluids intravenously, however several attempts to enter his vein failed.

As Léo’s condition worsened, attempts were made to transfer him to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

However Léo stopped breathing at 4.46am the next morning.

A Catholic priest was called to baptise Léo, and delivered the last rites when he was pronounced dead at 6.03am.

The inquest continues.