13-month-old baby discharged from hospital after being diagnosed with bronchiolitis was found dead in her cot the next day because of bacterial infection, inquest hears
- Luna Ellora Thomas fell ill on March 24 last year and was rushed to hospital
- The 13-month-old was released from hospital with suspected bronchiolitis
- She died within 24 hours after throwing up in her sleep at home in Bolton
A baby was found dead in her cot just one day after being sent home from hospital, an inquest heard.
Luna Ellora Thomas, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, fell ill on March 24 last year – the day after the country’s first national lockdown.
She had a runny nose and a high a temperature of 102F (38.8C) and was refusing food and sticking her tongue out.
The 13-month-old baby was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital two days later at 4.20am where doctors suspected she had bronchiolitis (a blockage of the airways in the lungs caused by a virus).
Her mother, Hannah Thomas, was given advice on how to care for Luna and was told her case would be referred to a nurse.
Luna Ellora Thomas (pictured), from Bolton, Greater Manchester, fell ill on March 24 last year – the day after the country’s first national lockdown
On March 27 Miss Thomas was woken up by strange noises from Luna’s bedroom and found she had been sick so brought her to her own bed, the inquest heard.
Miss Thomas put Luna back in her own cot at roughly 7am. Just three hours later she was found unresponsive.
She said her daughter’s death has left her ‘broken and empty’.
A coroner gave a verdict of death by natural causes yesterday.
Luna was seen by paediatric nurse Mollie Nuttall who recorded that her temperature had returned to normal, her oxygen saturation was normal, her respiratory rate was raised and her heart rate was 200.
A paediatric early warning score was completed by Miss Nuttall to check for signs of sepsis – however only two out of the six criteria were met.
At around 5.30am, Luna was assessed by Dr Mustapa.
Miss Thomas told Dr Mustapa that Luna had a fever, had been struggling to breathe, was eating less than usual but was still taking on fluids. Luna was also found to have a blanching rash on her torso.
Luna was diagnosed with suspected bronchiolitis, described as ‘a blockage of the small airways in the lungs caused by a virus’.
Dr Mustapa told the court that before discharging Luna, she reassured Miss Thomas, gave her ‘safety netting’ advice, and told her that the case would be referred to the Community Children’s Nursing Service.
After going back to their home in Farnworth, Miss Thomas said that Luna was sleeping on and off but was ‘lethargic’.
The 13-month-old baby was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital two days later at 4.20am where doctors suspected she had bronchiolitis (a blockage of the airways in the lungs caused by a virus)
At 10am Miss Thomas rang her GP Dr Rebecca Cruickshank. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Dr Cruickshank completed a telephone consultation.
Dr Cruickshank recorded that Luna’s symptoms were no worse than they had been when she was assessed at the hospital.
Miss Thomas continued giving Luna Calpol every four hours and bathed her at around 6.30pm, before putting her to bed, in her cot, at 7pm. She also gave her a drink in a ‘sippy cup’.
Some time between 3am and 4am on March 27, Miss Thomas woke up when she heard noises coming from Luna’s room.
She found that Luna had been sick so Miss Thomas took Luna to bed with her. Luna’s breathing still consisted of ‘panting breaths’ according to Miss Thomas.
At around 7am, Miss Thomas took Luna back to her cot. The next time she checked on her – around three and a half hours later – she was unresponsive, the inquest was told.
After ringing an ambulance and attempting CPR, Luna was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11.22am on March 27.
Following a post mortem, pathologist Dr Melanie Newbould recorded the medical cause of death as ‘invasive, hemolytic streptococcus (group A) (emm1.0) infection, characterised by empyema, bronchopneumonia, mediastinitis and disseminated sepsis’.
Assistant coroner for Manchester West Catherine Cundy said: ‘I have no evidence which would allow me to conclude that Luna’s bacterial infection could have been diagnosed at an earlier stage.’
Reaching a conclusion of natural causes, she added: ‘In the circumstances of the evidence I’ve heard, of this being a naturally occurring bacterial infection, which was severe and invasive, I conclude that her death was natural causes.’
Following a previous hearing, Miss Thomas said that Luna’s death had left her feeling ‘broken and empty’.
She said: ‘She was one of a kind. She was always laughing and even when she was crying you’d look at her and she would burst out with her cheesy grin. She was such a funny, clever, and beautiful little girl.
‘Food was her life, she was only happy when she was eating. Every time you saw her, she had either food in her hand or around her mouth. She was always pinching her brother and sister’s teas after she’d just eaten hers.
‘She always had everyone laughing. She was such a big character, taken away way too soon. She is missed and loved by many.’
Source: Read Full Article