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Child died because nurse used ‘too much force’

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

10-year-old Pheobe Willis from Locking in North Somerset had been submitted to Westo General Hospital with a rare genetic condition in the summer of 2012, but died after a nurse “inserted her feeding tube with too much force”. Pheobe Willis’ family took her to Weston General Hospital after taking advice that the hospital had a specialist nurse for their daughter’s condition. She was treated by this nurse for her cystinosis on the 24th of August 2012, but then became severely ill and died of peritonitis two days later at Bristol’s Children Hospital.

Despite her condition, Pheobe’s parents told the inquest that she led a “healthy life” despite having to be fed through a tube. Since Pheobe was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition as a baby, her parents were responsible for changing her feeding tube every three months. When this proved difficult on the 24th of August last year, they called the Bristol Renal Unit for assistance, who advised her to go to the Weston General where the specialist nurse, Kari Anne Nash, could provide assistance. Mr and Mrs Willis told the inquest that the nurse failed to insert the tube correctly, believing that it ripped the lining of their daughter’s stomach.

‘Someone who is supposed to be a specialist’

Cystinosis is a rare genetic condition that affects around 150 people in the UK, whereby an amino acid called cysteine is not carried out of the body, causing it to accumulate in the cells. 

Mrs Willis told the inquest: “I’m angry that you can have someone who is supposed to be a specialist.” The inquest is due to continue at Avon Coroner’s Court.

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