Baby allegedly killed by nurse Lucy Letby was 'injected with air'

Lucy Letby Credit: SWNS

A baby who was injected with air died after gas bubbles blocked his blood supply, the trial of Cheshire nurse Lucy Letby has been told.

The baby boy was allegedly targeted by the defendant during a day shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital in June 2016.

Expert witness Dr Dewi Evans told Manchester Crown Court he believed Child O, who was one of triplets, was the victim of an "air embolus" - in which gas bubbles block blood supply.

He said a "small discoloured purpuric rash" had been noted on the baby's chest as he deteriorated rapidly on the afternoon of 23 June.

The Lucy Letby trial continues Credit: PA Images

Dr Evans said: "I considered that the rash was consistent with (Child O) having received a injection of air into his circulation, his blood circulation.

"My opinion was that (Child O's) terminal collapse was him being the victim of an air embolus.

"I couldn't find any evidence where this could have occurred accidentally."

Dr Evans said it "repeated the pattern" seen in the case of another child - named in court as Child B, a twin girl - who also had a noticeable rash during her collapse, which she survived.

Jurors were told Dr Evans had concluded in an earlier report, in June 2018, that the cause for Child O's collapse was trauma to the liver.

A haematoma - bleeding - had been found in the liver during a post-mortem examination.

The alleged murders took place at the Countess of Chester Hospital Credit: PA Images

Dr Evans said: "If there was a purpuric rash - little blood spots under the skin - there had to be a cause. It was indicative of direct trauma."

He later learned from the police that the doctor who observed the rash had further explained it disappeared a short time after.

Dr Evans said: "This made a big difference to the interpretation of the rash. If it's a purpuric rash it will last quite some time - days, hours."

Letby is also accused of murdering Child O's newborn brother, Child P, on the following day.

The surviving triplet was later discharged from another hospital after their parents "begged" a doctor to remove him from the Countess of Chester.

Letby, originally from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial contines.