Bury St Edmunds: Investigation carried out after tot suffers ‘burn-like’ injuries

Mother Tammie O'Leary with son Jonjo O'Leary.

Mother Tammie O'Leary with son Jonjo O'Leary. - Credit: Archant

A hospital has carried out an “exhaustive investigation” after a toddler suffered “burn-like” injuries while undergoing a routine procedure.

Jonjo O'Leary's injury

Jonjo O'Leary's injury - Credit: Archant

Yesterday, the parents of one-year-old Jonjo O’Leary said they had been shocked when their son returned from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with unexplained large red marks on his legs.

Tammie O’Leary, from Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds, claimed they were even warned Jonjo could be scarred for life, although they have since been told his legs should hopefully recover.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for Addenbrooke’s, has written to the family to apologise.

The trust said it has investigated Jonjo’s injuries but has not identified the cause, adding that the warming mattress the child was placed on had been taken away for testing and was not found to be faulty.

Mrs O’Leary, a veterinary business manager, said: “I was very worried and concerned when I saw Jonjo’s legs and one of the most disappointing issues for me was that I had to point out the injuries he had sustained to hospital staff.”

The 39-year-old, along with husband Fintan, has asked specialist medical negligence solicitors at law firm JMW to investigate Jonjo’s care.

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Mrs O’Leary added: “We are very keen to know what steps have been taken by Addenbrooke’s to ensure this never happens again.”

Sophie Fox, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at JMW, added: “I would urge Addenbrooke’s to look again at how these injuries occurred and explore every line of enquiry.”

Although the trust described the marks as ‘burns’ in the letter to Mrs O’Leary, bosses said it was possible Jonjo had suffered an allergic reaction to the ingredients in cleaning wipes that had been used on the warming mat.

A spokesman for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have conducted an exhaustive investigation which involved plastic surgeons, anaesthetists and urologists and other staff. However we were unable to determine the exact cause of the marks on the patient’s legs.

“There were no complications during the surgery and the anaesthetist who saw the patient one hour after surgery said the marks seemed to have faded and there were no blisters visible.

“When the patient was seen in clinic the next day the doctor said the potentially superficial burns should heal of their own accord and suggested a simple dressing.

“We advised that a referral to the allergy clinic in respect to a possible allergic reaction to the wipes although we have no record of any other incidences involving this product. We have offered a unreserved apology for any distress or anxiety caused.”