One-month-old baby girl Orla suffered cardiac arrest & died after medics made "error" administering drugs

Amber Cutts, Lee Clayton, Archie and baby Orla. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)Amber Cutts, Lee Clayton, Archie and baby Orla. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)
Amber Cutts, Lee Clayton, Archie and baby Orla. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS) | Irwin Mitchell/SWNS
One-month-old Orla was given adenosine in hospital - and then died after a cardiac arrest.

A one-month-old baby girl suffered a cardiac arrest and died after medics made "an error" while administering drugs to treat an irregular heartbeat.

Ahead of an inquest, parents Amber Cutts, 36, and Lee Clayton, 29, have spoke of their "worst imaginable nightmare" after little Orla passed away just an hour after being given adenosine. The tot had been taken to a GP 24 hours earlier after she began being sick after feeds and appeared to be uncomfortable.

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They were referred to hospital where Orla was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) - where the heart suddenly beats much faster than normal. The one-month-old was prescribed adenosine to treat her irregular heartbeat but medics made an “error” while administering the drug, a pre-inquest review was told last year.

Within just minutes of receiving adenosine on a high dependency unit, Orla suffered a cardiac arrest and she was tragically pronounced dead around an hour later.

Devastated Amber and Lee, of Tibshelf, Derbyshire, are now demanding answers ahead of their daughter's inquest which begins next week.

Lee, head of IT at an automotive manufacturer, said: "When Orla was transferred to HDU we were advised to wait in a separate room. We said goodbye to Orla before we left.

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"I remember giving Orla a kiss and telling her to be brave and be strong, that daddy’s here and we would be back soon. That was the last time we saw Orla awake and it’s a memory that haunts us every day.

"When Orla died it was beyond our worst imaginable nightmare. We were given Orla as we wanted to hold her. I have no idea how long we were sat there for, we just sat there cuddling, crying, speaking and singing to her.

"Leaving hospital was absolutely crippling. I was carrying Orla’s car seat and I knew it was too light as it didn’t have her in it.

"I felt absolutely broken driving home and remember thinking that it was the same way that we drove home when we were bringing her home from hospital just a month before when she was born."

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Amber, a self-employed hairdresser, added: "The day Orla died our lives changed forever. It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe the pain we live with each day.

"Orla was the most adorable little girl and we feel so blessed that she is our daughter, but wish more than anything that she could still be with us today. We’ll forever cherish the time we got to spend with her, but it devastates us that she’s no longer with us, growing, developing and causing mischief with her brothers.

Nothing will ever fill the void in all our lives that has been created by Orla’s death."

An inquest hearing is set to examine the care Orla - who had two brothers, Archie and Jude, aged 10 and two – received, including in the days before her death in July 2020.

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Laura Robinson, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: "Amber, Lee and the rest of Orla’s family remain devastated by her tragic death and the circumstances surrounding it. Understandably they continue to have a number of questions.

"While nothing can bring Orla back, the inquest is a major milestone in being able to provide them with the answers they deserve. If during the course of the inquest any issues in the care Orla received are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety."

The inquest into Orla’s death is due to start at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court on Monday (January 8) and is expected to last up to five days.

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