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Cornish Baby Died After Surgery Postponed 5 Times

Cornwall News
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7:04am 22nd October 2014
(Updated 7:04am 22nd October 2014)

A Cornish baby with half a heart died after a potentially lifesaving operation was rescheduled five times.

But Bristol Children's Hospital insists the delay did not contribute to the death of little Harley Pascoe.

A coroner has recorded a narrative verdict on the twelve day old.

His mum Danielle told the inquest: “We were told the operation was not going ahead because there were no available beds in the paediatric intensive care unit. They considered Harley to be in a stable condition and didn’t class him as an emergency."

His parents were told there was an 80% chance the little boy would survive if he was to have the operation. But it kept being pushed back, because there was not enough space in intensive care.

He was taken in for surgery but suffered a cardiac arrest during the six hour operation.

Danielle said: "We were taken into a waiting room. A couple of minutes later we were told, sadly, Harley had passed away and there was nothing more they could have done."

Surgeon Serban Soica said: “Given the same situation I would have performed treatment and surgery in the same way. I don’t recall any departure from normal procedures.

“We are trying to save lives, to avoid a deaths. It is true as a result of our treatment sometimes deaths occur."

In a statement after the narrative verdict was recorded Danielle and Harley's dad, Lee said: “It is painful for us to think that, had treatment been carried out sooner or if his care had been dealt with differently, he might still be with us.

“We are convinced there were missed opportunities and we wish to investigate this with independent experts.”

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Bristol, which runs the children’s hospital, said: “We would like to repeat our sincere condolences to Harley Pascoe’s family.

“The coroner’s thorough and independent inquiry has heard that Harley was born with a severe congenital heart disease, with surgery as his only treatment option.

“Harley’s surgery had to be rescheduled to accommodate children needing treatment more urgently and we understand how distressing this must have been for his parents.

"The coroner found this did not contribute to his death.”

7:04am 22nd October 2014

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