Indian toddler’s life could have been saved, UK court hears

LONDON (TIP): An Indian toddler who bled to death at a hospital in Sheffield, could have been saved if he had been treated at any other children’s hospital in the UK, a court heard. The damning verdict of independent expert Dr David Crabbe came at the conclusion of a hearing into the death of two-year-old Tharun Umashankar.

According to The Star daily, Sheffield Coroner Christopher Dorries ordered a report of the findings to be issued under Rule 43 of his court, urging action to prevent further deaths.

Tharun was admitted to Barnsley Hospital and transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital on July 10, 2010, suffering from a severe bleed and died in the early hours of the following morning.

An eight-day inquest held at Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre in March heard the youngster had been admitted to hospital vomiting blood twice in the fortnight leading up to his death, thought to be caused by an intolerance to milk. When he was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital a third time, consultant paediatric gastro-enterologist Dr David Campbell ordered an endoscopy to be carried out the next day.

Tharun’s mother Sentamil, aged 38, broke down as Dorries said his life might have been saved if the procedure was carried out straight away. Dorries said, “The independent expert Dr Crabbe is critical that once Tharun’s admission was known there wasn’t a clear plan formed between seniors of gastroenterology and surgery, with a fall-back plan if there was a re-bleed.” “He feels that it was an error of judgement not to have proceeded to endoscopy that afternoon by the surgeons with, he says, the likely result of an overall bleed being recognised,” he said.

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