Hunter Martin: Inquest into baby's death hears he was given 10 times his medical dose at hospital

  • Phil Brewster reports from outside Chesterfield Coroner's Court

An inquest into the death of a six-month-old boy hears how he was given ten times the dose of medication leading up to his death at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Hunter Martin was admitted to hospital with suspected chicken pox on March 4th last year.

Despite the concerns of his parents Jade Smith and Alex Martin, he was given ibuprofen and sent home.

But overnight, Hunter's condition worsened and he was rushed back to hospital and to a high-dependency ward.

He was then diagnosed with sepsis and invasive group A streptococcal disease. Hunter was then administered the antibiotic drug Clindamycin.

He should have been given 94 milligrams of the drug. However, medics at the hospital gave the infant 940 milligrams - 10 times the recommended dose.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

A jury at the inquest at Chesterfield's Coroners Court today (June 3) heard, Hunter was later transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital, but he died later that day after suffering three cardiac arrests.

At the hearing, a statement from Hunter's mother Jade was read out, in which she described her son as "a bonnie blue-eyed angel".

She also spoke of how when she'd taken Hunter to the hospital the second time, she'd told staff his body was swollen and his eyes were puffy.

But they were told that was probably just excess fluid. As well, when Hunter was gasping and retching it was because he had an empty stomach.

Jade's statement ended with her saying: "We miss Hunter terribly and there is a deathly silence that lingers over our lives now."

Hunter Martin Credit: Family handout

The inquest today heard from two medical experts, toxicologist Stephaine Martin who told the jury that the possible effects of excess clindamycin included acute kidney injury but also neuro-muscular paralysis, resulting in the drop of the breathing rate.

Pathologist Nadia Burgess was asked if excess clindamycin could've contributed to the death.

She replied: "There is compelling evidence for infection being the main cause of death but I can't totally disregard the potential part clindamycin played in this process."

The Trust which runs Chesterfield Royal Hospital has admitted there were missed opportunities to diagnose Hunter and had Hunter been given the correct antibiotics earlier, on the balance of probabilities he might have survived.

They also admitted there had been an error in the dosage of antibiotics given to Hunter but they are not clear whether this contributed to Hunter's deterioration.

The inquest is expected to conclude early next week.

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