Bury St Edmunds: Questions remain over baby’s death, inquest hears

Dr Peter Dean

Dr Peter Dean - Credit: Archant

Questions still remain over the death of a nine-day-old baby, an inquest heard yesterday.

Freddie James Wheeler-Bridges, from Maltings Way, Bury St Edmunds, died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on September 29, 2011.

Yesterday, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a narrative verdict, saying Freddie died from multi organ failure “the cause or causes of which could not be established following premature delivery.” But he did say “from the evidence it would appear likely there is an underlying metabolic disorder”.

Dr Sue Broster, consultant neonatologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said it would be helpful if the genetics and metabolics teams could pursue this, perhaps providing some answers for the family.

She said: “I still remain really concerned this is an underlying metabolic condition we haven’t got to the bottom of.”


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Freddie was born at West Suffolk Hospital by Caesarean section on September 20 – week 31 of the pregnancy – and was transferred to Addenbrooke’s after 24 hours because his condition was deteriorating.

He experienced a range of problems, including poor blood pressure, low blood sugars, breathing difficulties and metabolic acidosis, which is too much acid in the blood.

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Despite ongoing treatments, intensive care was withdrawn following consultation and Freddie died shortly afterwards.

Dr Dean said while one catheter had been put in the wrong place during treatment, there was no evidence anything had been put down it. The inquest, held in Bury, also heard that Freddie’s parents, Amy Wheeler and Jamie Bridges, had the pregnancy monitored closely after losing their daughter Ruby following a premature birth.

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