Boy left brain damaged and blind following E.coli outbreak at Aberdeenshire nursery
A DEVASTATED mum has hit out after her son was left brain-damaged and severely ill following an E coli outbreak at a Scots nursery.
• 22-month-old boy suffered irreparable kidney failure and was left blind and partially deaf after contracting the bug at Rose Lodge Nursery
• NHS Grampian report suggested staff failure to wash hands after changing nappies may have caused the spread of the disease
• The family are now contemplating taking legal action against the nursery
Her 22-month-old boy suffered irreparable kidney failure, was left blind and also partially deaf after contracting the potentially lethal bug at Rose Lodge Nursery School in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.
The heartbroken mother, who is threatening to sue the owners, has been at the bedside of her son at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill in Glasgow since he was struck down almost five months ago.
She yesterday issued a statement through solicitors after NHS Grampian delivered a report into their investigation of the outbreak, which claimed that staff failing to wash their hands after changing nappies may have caused the disease to spread.
The bug originated in the baby unit of the nursery, which cares for 35 children. Four infants, one relative and two members of staff all contracted E coli O157. Three of the youngsters were taken to hospital.
The mother of the 22-month-old revealed that her son had spent ten weeks in intensive care following admission on 19 May, adding: “He has had numerous blood transfusions and a seizure. An MRI scan has indicated that there has been some damage to the brain.
“He has lost his sight. He has severe hearing loss. He had complete kidney failure. His kidneys will not function again. Sections of the large and small colon were removed. The bowel may never return to normal.”
She revealed that the child also has a stoma – an opening which connects a portion of the body cavity to the outside environment – and is likely to be on dialysis for life.
The mum said: “The long-term effects are still unpredictable and uncertain, other than that they will be very severe.”
Solicitor Paul Santoni, who is representing the woman and her boy, said: “The mother has been permanently residing in the hospital complex to care and attend to the child, and is at the hospital from about morning until late evening seven days a week.
“We had previously been in contact with the NHS on behalf of the parent and were advised by them that we required to await the report which was intended to answer our and the parent’s questions about the outbreak.
“She has stated that the report does not answer anything for her. She does not understand how the staff contracted E coli O157. Was it just their failure to wash hands?
“She specifically wants the public reminded about how aggressive E coli O157 can be.
“She believes that she and the child have been forgotten about, and she is very angry about that.
“The nursery has shown very little interest in the child’s progress.”
He added: “How did the adults get infected, particularly adults who were meant to be trained in cross-infection control?
“There should be a national body which can carry out investigations into E coli, because not every board may be familiar with handling this sort of
The NHS Grampian report into the incident found that the bug could have been transferred through a private drinking water supply contaminated
with animal faeces from a nearby farm or through a lack of thorough handwashing after nappy changes.
The report said the nursery was advised to stop using a communal bowl for handwashing in the baby room and said the water at a sink in the nappy-changing area might have been too hot for effective handwashing.
Nursery manager Lauren Ferguson said: “We have worked very closely with NHS Grampian on all the advice given and have implemented that accordingly.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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