Nurse had 'sleepless nights' over incidents at neonatal unit, Lucy Letby murder trial told

The baby girl, referred to as Child D, collapsed three times at the Countess of Chester Hospital Credit: ITV News/SWNS

A senior nurse said she had "sleepless nights" following incidents at a neonatal hospital where her colleague allegedly murdered seven babies, a court has heard.

Kathryn Percival-Calderbank recalled an evening shift where Lucy Letby, 32, is said to have injected a fatal amount of air into the bloodstream of a baby girl.

The girl, referred to as Child D collapsed three times at the Countess of Chester Hospital during the early hours of 22 June 2015.

Mrs Percival-Calderbank told Manchester Crown Court that on the first occasion, she saw an “unusual, mosaic-type” rash on the infant's torso and arms which appeared to be a "reddy-brown" colour.

Allegedly, Child D is the third infant murdered by Lucy Letby, originally from Hereford, in a two-week period in June 2015, with one child suffering a life-threatening collapse around the same time.

Mrs Percival-Calderbank, who had worked at the neonatal unit since 1993, recalled checking on Child D while the baby's designated nurse Carolline Oakley, was on her break.

Countess of Chester Hospital Credit: ITV Granada

She said: “I remember looking in. She was nice and stable, the baby seemed quite settled.

“I popped in another time about 10 minutes later. She was OK.”

Some time later, the witness said she returned to the intensive care room when alarms sounded.

Mrs Percival-Calderbank added: “The baby’s monitor was showing she was desaturating and her heart rate had dropped.

“I don’t know whether there was anyone else around at the time but I think there may have been.”

She said she checked Child D’s head position, gave “gentle stimulations” with her hand and then used a face mask to provide oxygen.

She continued: “I was assisted by someone. I can’t clearly remember who it was. I have a feeling it might have been Lucy, but I can’t categorically say.”

Lucy Letby also allegedly attempted to kill 10 babies. Credit: SWNS

Asked by prosecutor Philip Astbury if she noticed anything while assisting Child D, Mrs Percival-Calderbank said: “There was a rash on her trunk and arms. It was on her body from the chest downwards.

“It was not like a normal rash that you would know if a baby was becoming septic. The blood vessels tend to be more bluey.

“This seemed to be a largely mosaic-type rash and it was a reddy brown colouring."

“It was not like a spotty rash. It was oval-type markings on the skin. The vessels of the blood seemed to be meeting up with each other.

“She was quite a pale-skinned baby, so they seemed to be pronounced browny/red.”

The witness said the discolouring “seemed to disappear and dissipate after a while” and that Child D settled back into a normal pattern of breathing after doctors assisted in the intervention.

Ben Myers, KC, defending, asked if the “extra detail” she gave about the rash, compared to her police statement, was something she may have picked up in conversation at work.

Mrs Percival-Calderbank replied: “I might have done, but it’s also my recollections which have come back. It was an odd rash. It wasn’t like a normal septic rash, it was a different type of rash.”

Mr Myers said: “Can you help us with how you got the extra details?”

The witness said: “Because I started thinking about the events. As I was getting sleepless nights I was thinking about the events that happened.”

The on-call consultant paediatrician Dr Elizabeth Newby at the hospital told the court she was asked to attend the first collapse of Child D but was “very surprised” when later asked to return again.

Dr Newby said: “I was very surprised to hear a crash call because although I was concerned after the first episode she didn’t appear to be a baby in extremis.

“Yes I admit these things can happen but that was not what I was expecting to happen that night.”

Letby denies the offences, said to have been committed between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial continues.