Heartbreak: Premature Baby Dies on Mother’s Chest After Doctors Incorrectly Insert Feeding Tube

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 21, 2015   |   4:19PM   |   Washington, DC

In the United Kingdom, a mother lost her baby daughter after doctors incorrectly inserted her feeding tube. The infant, Isabella Hope Hill, was born at 26-weeks and needed medical assistance for feedings. However, her physicians inserted the feeding tube close to her heart, causing fluid to build up and crush her organs.

Isabella’s parents, Dan and Jade Hill, have four other children but because of pregnancy complications, Jade had to deliver Isabelle via emergency Caesarean section. She weighed a tiny 1lb 13oz when she was born and was put on an umbilical venous catheter (UVC) to help her organs develop.

The Daily Mail reports that she died four days after the tube was removed and they found it punctured the little girl’s liver. Prior to Isabella’s death, doctors failed to do x-rays, which is required by hospital guidelines and may have saved the infant’s life.

Jade said the following about her daughter’s premature death: “We had an inkling that someone was to blame, but what they didn’t tell us at this stage was that the line had perforated her liver. They told us that she was a fighter and there was a good chance we would be taking her home. Then on day eight they started urgently phoning us and telling us to come in. They resuscitated Isabella in front of us several times, allowing us to have her baptized by the chaplain, and then she died on my chest.”


Now Jade and Dan want to make sure this never happens to another family.

“Isabella suffered and so did we, but we want to make sure that thanks to our daughter, no-one else will,” said Jade. For the last two years, the couple has been petitioning the National Health Service (NHS) to change their procedures on feeding tubes. They have also taken legal action against NHS because their health chief admitted that Isabella’s death was their fault.

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Dianne Brown, the director of nursing and midwifery at Liverpool Women’s, said the girl’s death was a “tragic incident” and expressed the hospital’s condolences and regret. Additionally, she said that the hospital has met with the family to keep them updated on their investigation of the case. Brown said, “We are committed to learning from this incident to ensure that it does not happen again within our Trust and are sharing our knowledge nationally to protect babies across the UK.”

Brown did mention that the investigation found that their hospital experienced issues with UVC’s in the past, which has led to a national review by the NHS and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine. Unfortunately, Jade and Dan also lost their house and livelihood after their daughter died because Jade wasn’t able to return to work. She suffered kidney damage because of pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy with Isabella and Dan had to leave his job to care for her.

He concluded, “Losing Isabella was understandably the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through, and we’re still suffering the consequences. Two years down the line, we still haven’t got a headstone as we can’t afford one. I lost not just my job, but a whole career and my pension. And Jade has lost all confidence and no longer leaves the house unless she absolutely has to. Though it’s been a struggle, we’ve campaigned for new guidelines so that other families won’t have to go through the same thing.”