A British court heard how a newborn was reportedly screaming after a neonatal nurse intentionally injected air into his bloodstream in 2016.
Lucy Letby was accused of trying to kill the victim — a three-pound boy with hemophilia — less than a day after his birth on June 2 and on two instances on June 15. The court heard that on June 3, the baby was overheard screaming before his condition unexplainedly deteriorated, according to the BBC.
A medical expert who reviewed the case asserted that it is rare for babies to cry unless something is causing them discomfort, such as having an intravenous line inserted. The expert also said the baby would quickly stop crying, leading him to determine that “something had been done to this baby,” the BBC reported.
The expert went on to say that whatever happened to this baby was consistent with medical research on babies who accidentally had air injected into their bloodstream. The scientific papers detailed how those babies screamed and collapsed before dying.
According to the BBC, the court also heard how the baby had additional medical incidents on June 15. In those instances, the baby reportedly deteriorated and was bleeding from the back of his throat. Prosecutors alleged Letby intentionally inflicted those injuries.
Between 2015 and 2016, Letby allegedly killed seven babies and injured 10 more while working at Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit. She has denied claims that she injected air into the victims’ bloodstream and gave them insulin.
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/Handout]