A British court heard how a newborn had to be resuscitated twice while in the care of a neonatal nurse who is on trial for killing seven babies — and how that child’s condition significantly improved once she was moved to a different hospital.
Accused serial killer Lucy Letby was working at Countess of Chester Hospital in September 2015 when the mother was induced amid concerns regarding her blood sugar levels. Despite being born prematurely, doctors said the girl was fine, according to the BBC.
The mother testified that soon after giving birth, her daughter appeared pale and made “grunting noises.” The child was moved to Letby’s neonatal unit, where she was put on a ventilator.
According to the BBC, x-rays determined the baby possibly suffered a lung puncture. The mother testified that a nurse woke her up the following morning to witness her daughter being resuscitated a second time. The baby regained consciousness, but staff allegedly never explained to the parents what caused the medical episode.
However, later that day, staff reportedly informed the baby’s parents that she was unresponsive again. The couple then witnessed their daughter being resuscitated a third time, the BBC reported.
The baby was ultimately moved to a different hospital, where a brain scan showed she suffered no long-term damage. The mother said her condition “improved dramatically” while at the other hospital, according to the Shropshire Star.
The baby was eventually taken back to Countess of Chester Hospital and she was discharged the next month.
The BBC reported that the court saw Facebook messages sent between Letby and the neonatal unit deputy manager the morning after the baby’s first medical episode. The deputy manager reportedly thanked Letby for her hard work.
Letby allegedly responded, “That’s really nice to hear as I gather you are aware of some of the not so positive comments that have been made recently regarding my role which I have found quite upsetting.”
In 2015 and 2016, Letby allegedly killed seven babies and injured 10 more. She has denied claims that she injected air into the victims’ bloodstream and gave them insulin.
During her trial, the court heard how Letby killed two of three triplet boys. In another case, the former nurse allegedly tried to kill a premature baby girl on three instances before she was successful. Afterward, she reportedly sent a sympathy card to the victim’s parents.
Previous testimony also linked Letby to the slaying of a 1.7-pound baby who reportedly had air forced into his stomach via a nasogastric tube. An expert testified that the boy was thriving at the time of his sudden death. The expert stated that he was “potentially at risk of complications” after birth, and he was receiving routine treatment for pneumonia.
However, the expert concluded that pneumonia did not kill the newborn.
A pediatric consultant had testified that he stopped Letby from killing a 98-minute-old baby, who was also born prematurely. The consultant reportedly caught Letby standing over the incubator as the baby’s oxygen levels plummeted. The consultant allegedly found the baby’s breathing tube was dislodged and that an alarm had been silenced.
Letby reportedly did not help the baby or seek backup. The consultant said he was already uneasy with Letby being alone with the preemie as he “started to notice a coincidence between unexplained deaths, serious collapses,” and Letby’s presence.
The trial continues.
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[Featured image: Lucy Letby/Police Handout]