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Toddler died of heart attack in his mother's arms while waiting in hospital for urgent operation

Daily Record logoDaily Record 31/03/2017 Pat Hurst
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A toddler died after waiting three days for life-saving surgery.

Kayden Urmston-Bancroft suffered a heart attack after the delay for the urgent operation and was in his mother's arms when his life support machine was turned off.

Royal Manchester Children 's Hospital has admitted they "failed" the 20-month-old.

But surgeons told the BBC the boy's death was avoidable and hospital bosses had been warned about the shortage of operating theatres.

The hospital trust has apologised to Kayden's family, following his death on April 17 2016.

His mother, Shannon Bancroft, 20, from Stockport spoke about the moment her boy's life support was turned off.

She said: "All the family was there and my mum was reading him Mr Men stories.

"I had Kayden put on my lap and then the ventilator tube was taken out.

"My mum knelt down at the side of me so that she could put her hand to his chest and feel his heart.

"My mum then told me that his heart had stopped beating and that he had passed away."

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The youngster needed the operation to repair a hernia, or hole in his diaphragm.

He was admitted to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital after an X-ray showed that part of his bowel had burst through the hole, but he was still waiting for surgery three days later when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

It is thought it was caused by the organs squashed in his chest, putting too much pressure on his heart.

He was rushed to theatre, but tragically never regained consciousness and died shortly afterwards.

Kayden was born with the diaphragmatic hernia, but it was only diagnosed days before his death after an X-ray at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, where he was taken after falling and hurting his mouth.

He was kept there overnight before being transferred to Royal Manchester, where his mum and grandmother, Julie Rowlands, said the problems began.

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Julie, 44, a care coordinator for the elderly who lives with her daughter in Stockport, said: "His care was appalling. All we were ever told was that other emergencies were coming in and taking Kayden's place. We felt like he was just being left and he was in so much pain, we couldn't leave his side.

"We were begging them to transfer him to somewhere that could do the operation, but they told us it wasn't as easy as that. I said if they didn't then something would happen.

"After his cardiac arrest the doctors tried to bring him round, but he was without oxygen for almost half an hour. They took him to theatre, but I knew it was too late.

"It was four-and-a-half hours before they brought him back and they apologised there and then and said as a hospital they had failed him."

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has since admitted there was an "unacceptable delay" in performing surgery to repair Kayden's hernia which resulted in his cardiac arrest and death.

The Trust also recently settled a legal case brought against them by the family for an undisclosed, five-figure sum.

Basem Khalil, a surgeon, says he warned hospital bosses about the problem before the boy's death.

He told the BBC: "The hospital did not take any substantive actions with regard to the warnings that were given by myself or my colleagues.

"I feel children are being let down...and now a child is dead and I think that is completely unacceptable."

A surgeon had offered to cancel his elective surgery list to do Kayden's emergency op but the offer was not taken up, Mr Khalil said.

James Moorecroft, a retired surgeon at the same hospital, said he wrote to the medical director saying children's surgical services were unsafe - but did not get a reply.

Stephen Clarkson, a clinical negligence specialist from Slater and Gordon, who represented the family, said: "The real tragedy here is that Kayden's death was entirely preventable. If he had been operated on earlier then he would have survived."

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said they regret Kayden's death and have offered condolences to his family.

In a statement they said they placed "great emphasis" on "an ethic of openness and transparency" but when asked for further information, calls to the Trust received no response.

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