Portsmouth parents say they forgive hospital for baby’s death

Southampton General Hospital has apologised
Southampton General Hospital has apologised

QA Hospital ward raises £340 for fracture service

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PARENTS have said they hold ‘no animosity’ towards a hospital after a mistake during surgery led to their baby’s death.

Gary and Sara Hider, from Portsmouth, have said they hope lessons will be learnt by Southampton General Hospital after their son Zack died 10 days after a heart operation.

A mistake which saw Zack given too much cardioplegic solution, which stops the heart beating so it can be operated on, was highlighted as the cause of his death, aged 19 days. But in a statement, his parents have said ‘we are all human.’

They said: ‘We know a mistake was made but we know the hospital team was doing its best to give Zack 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.’

They added: ‘We know our longed for and lovely son Zack faced a struggle for survival when he was born.’

In the inquest it was revealed that consultant paediatric surgeon Dr Markku Kaarne made the decision to give Zack a full repair to fix the ventricle defects he was born with.

Zack was connected to a bypass machine, which bypasses blood and oxygen around the heart to the rest of the body, and through the machine the solution was given to him as Zack’s heart needed to be stopped.

But shortly into the operation Dr Kaarne noticed something was wrong and giving evidence he said the heart looked ‘haemorrhagic’ and ‘stiff’.

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

After nine days, his condition deteriorated and he died on November 20.

It was later revealed in the inquest that Zack had been given 380ml of cardioplegic solution – more than four times the 88ml he was meant to have.

The cardiopulmonary bypass machine had been on stand-by earlier in the day and had been prepared in case it was needed for a three-year-old boy.

It was suggested in the inquest that the amount of solution was not adjusted despite paperwork showing the correct value had been worked out for Zack.

In his conclusion coroner Grahame Short said: ‘The extra dose put excessive pressure on his heart, causing damage.

‘The volume of cardioplegia was not adjusted for reasons which have not been established.’

Neil Pearce, associate medical director for patient safety at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We accept full responsibility for the incident and have apologised unreservedly for it.

‘The error made was very rare and led to a severe reaction in Zack’s heart muscle. It was subject to an immediate investigation which led to the introduction of a number of important new safety measures at Southampton.

‘Mr and Mrs Hider have continued to offer support to staff involved in Zack’s care and I would like to express our thanks to them for such a kind gesture.’

Zack’s parents are fundraising in his memory. See justgiving.com/GaryandSaraHider/