Lack of early action 'significantly contributed' to death of baby with sepsis

A three-month-old baby who had sepsis died of natural causes "contributed by neglect" of doctors, according to an inquest.

Lewys Crawford, from Cardiff, was taken to A&E at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on March 21, 2019 after his parents raised concern over his temperature.

He was showing symptoms of sepsis and should have been given fluids and antibiotics within the hour, but instead it took seven hours. Baby Lewys had meningococcal septicaemia but medical staff originally thought it to be a viral infection.

Pontypridd Coroner's Court concluded on Friday with the jury deciding that the lack of early actions "significantly contributed to his death."

Lewys Crawford was treated at Wales' biggest hospital, the University Hospital of Wales. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The inquest heard how 13-week-old Lewys had been a "healthy" baby before becoming ill in March last year.

Lewys' mother, Kirsty Link, from St Mellons, Cardiff, said: "Lewys ballooned in size, he was purple all over. I kept asking the doctor what they were doing, and did they have a diagnosis, to which the response was no.

"Eventually we were given a diagnosis Lewys had meningitis on March 22."

In a statement read to the jury, Ms Link expressed concern about the delay between Lewys admitted to the unit to him receiving his first course of antibiotics.

An internal investigation at the hospital said that Lewys' care should have had a more urgent response.

An emergency consultant agreed that Dr Mower's observation was the "first missed opportunity for prompt and potentially life-saving treatment in the case of sepsis."

The health board has told the family that they are "truly sorry" and Lewys' case is now being used in training for doctors to better understand the signs of sepsis in children.