Press update: Blake Lapthorn client clinical negligence Inquest in Somerset

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On Wednesday 8 June 2011 the inquest will resume in Wells town hall into the death of the young child, Katelyn Seers, being heard before HM Coroner for East Somerset, Mr Tony Williams.

Katelyn died on 28 February 2007 at the age of 18 months following medical complications after an accident at her home when she suffered 30% scalds having fallen into a hot bath.  During the first day of the hearing, the inquest heard from independent expert engineers who had examined the hot water system in Mr and Mrs Seers home for any faults that may have contributed to the accident.
Katelyn was treated for her injuries in the specialist burns unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.  During this, the second day of the hearing, evidence with be given by the doctors who treated her.  Initially Katelyn had appeared to be doing well but she started to have spike in temperatures, which were attributed to the presence of the burns.  By 27 February 2007 it has been decided to keep her under close observation because of possible infection.  However, by early the next morning she had become much more ill and the planned surgery to change her dressings was brought forward.  Shortly after the anaesthetic for the operation was administered Katelyn pulse rate dropped sharply and her oxygen level was unrecordable and she needed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  In spite of continuing attempts at resuscitation, an emergency operation on her stomach and treatment on the intensive care unit it proved impossible to stabilise her condition and Katelyn was pronounced dead at 3.00pm.
The inquest, which is likely to reach a conclusion today, will seek to establish how Katelyn died and in particular whether the medical interventions were all properly carried out.  Mr John White, partner at Blake Lapthorn solicitors, is representing the family.  He said: One can only imagine the distress that Mr and Mrs Seers experienced in the first part of the inquest, having to relive the painful events of the accident itself.  Now the focus of the enquiry is on the medical aspects but I do not underestimate how difficult it will be for Mr and Mrs Seers to sit through detailed descriptions of how Katelyn was fighting for her life but ultimately succumbed to devastating medical complications.  I hope that today all the medical issues will be thoroughly explored and then afterwards Mr and Mrs Seers will have the time and space that they will need to grieve in peace for Katelyn."

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