Clodagh Bradley QC was instructed by Suzanne White of Leigh Day on behalf of the parents of 11 month old Sophie Burgess who was admitted to St Peter’s hospital in Surrey in 2016 with a history of febrile seizures when she was given a five-fold overdose of Phenytoin, by hospital staff resulting in her sudden death.

The inquest considered how the overdose came to be given, why the drug was given manually rather than by syringe driver despite concerns raised by a nurse that this would be contrary to policy and other matters including whether clinical records were inappropriately altered to change the account of how Sophie came by her death.  The inquest went part-heard in June 2017 when the police decided to investigate further and the case was adjourned to November 2020 when the remainder of the evidence was heard.

HM Assistant Coroner Dr Karen Henderson handed down her conclusion on 16 December 2020. She found that neglect contributed to Sophie’s avoidable death.  The Coroner will be writing a Prevention of Future Deaths report explaining the need for medical staff to check the amount of drugs prepared before being administered, particularly where they carry a risk of toxicity.

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