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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Six-day-old baby left with horrific burns after midwives plunged her foot into bowl of scalding water

By Daily Mail Reporter

Scalded: Baby Katie Ward (seen here with her mother, Julie) faces further treatment on her foot after the incident

A pair of midwives at a crisis-hit hospital are being investigated after carelessly plunging a six-day-old baby's foot into a bowl of scalding hot water.

Mother Julie Ward said her daughter's foot was dipped into the water by two midwives from Stafford Hospital - where more than 1,200 patients are thought to have died due to poor medical care over a three-year period.

Newborn Katie Ward was left with 'skin hanging off' her foot after midwives visited her family's home in Acton Trussell, Staffordshire.

Mrs Ward said the two Stafford Hospital midwives, one of them a student, had arrived at her home to carry out routine blood tests a few days after she had given birth.

The midwives had asked for a bowl of hot water before they could conduct blood tests on Katie, but did not say it was for a heel prick test.

As part of the monitoring, baby Katie's foot needed to be warmed with water before blood was taken from the heel to check for diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

Mrs Ward's mother Kathryn unwittingly filled a bowl from the hot water tap in the kitchen downstairs and even warned the midwife that it was hot.

But Katie's entire foot was dipped into the water without testing its temperature, as Mrs Ward was in an upstairs bedroom.

Mrs Ward, 40, said: 'I heard this howl and I turned round and saw the skin on her foot hanging off.'

'I was frantic and I started crying. Her foot blistered over and we took her to hospital. I haven't seen or heard from the midwife since.

'I'm angry, because it shouldn't have happened, but I'm more upset for Katie.

'She's my little girl and she was just six days old - one minute she's OK and the next she's in pain.

'She might have to have skin grafts through no fault of her own, I don't know if she's going to have problems walking.

'I've got to cross my fingers that won't happen.'

'She's fine now, as long as she's not having her foot messed with.'

Mrs Ward said there was a qualified midwife present at the time but that she was not told a student was present.'

Katie now faces further hospital tests to treat the burn to her foot.

Mrs Ward added: 'Katie's toes are still black, and her heel is red raw and it was bleeding quite badly a couple of days ago.

'We are not sure how it's going to scar. This shouldn't have happened to my little girl.'

Crisis-hit: The burning incident involving six day-old Katie Ward is the latest scandal to emerge from Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital was the centre of the worst health scandal in Britain this century when it emerged that hundreds of victims had died due to a catalogue of failings and an obsession with targets at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Last year, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced a public inquiry into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, after an independent inquiry found up to 1,200 patients had died needlessly, and hundreds of complaints from relatives and staff had been ignored.

The six-month inquiry into the failings at the hospital heard that thirsty patients were left to drink from vases of flowers after being neglected on wards without enough water.

Campaigner Julie Bailey, whose mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital, told an inquiry last year that when she raised the issue of lack of water on the wards with the nurses, she was told they could not leave drinks out for patients during the night because of 'health and safety'.

The grieving daughter set up the campaign group Cure The NHS after the death of her mother, with the inquiry last week adjourned until September.

Hospital bosses said they were investigating the incident involving Katie Ward on May 15.

Colin Ovington, director of nursing at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'We are devastated and would like to apologise.'



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