Baby died after mistake during heart surgery

Southampton General Hospital
Southampton General Hospital

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A coroner has ruled that a 19-day-old baby died after a mistake during an operation on his heart.

Zack Hider was born last November with congenital heart disease and underwent surgery at Southampton General Hospital when he was just 10 days old on November 11.

The inquest heard it was decided by consultant paediatric surgeon Dr Markku Kaarne to do a full repair on Zack’s heart to fix the ventricle defects rather than give him a shunt which would require more surgery in the near future.

For the operation, his heart would need to stop beating and solution, known as cardioplegia, was given to him.

But shortly into the operation Dr Kaarne noticed something was wrong.

Giving evidence he said the heart had a different appearance and looked ‘haemorrhagic’ and as he noticed these changes perfusionist Richard Hartshorne said the infant’s heart was at high pressure.

After failing to find the problem, the procedure was stopped and Zack was put on a heart and lung machines as his own heart failed to start.

During a narrative verdict at the inquest into his death, coroner Grahame Short said too much cardioplegia was given to Zack which resulted in excessive pressure on his heart, causing damage.

Zack, whose parents Gary and Sara live in Portsmouth, was taken to intensive care. He underwent further surgery to have a shunt inserted in hopes it would make his condition better.

But his condition deteriorated and he sadly died on November 20.

Mr Short recorded a verdict that 19-day-old Zack died after a mistake during an operation on his heart.

In a statement released by his family, they said: ‘We know our longed-for and lovely son Zack faced a struggle for survival.

‘We know there was a mistake but we know the hospital team was doing its best to give him the best chance of survival.

‘We are all human and we all make mistakes.

‘We hold no animosity. We know they were doing their best and will continue on their challenging role caring for babies.

‘We know they will learn lessons to prevent further tragedy in the future.’