Mum 'not told' of hyponatraemia severity

Published Wednesday, 31 October 2012
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The parents of a nine-year-old girl who died in hospital have told the Hyponatraemia inquiry they were not told she was seriously ill.

Mum 'not told' of hyponatraemia severity
Claire Roberts's death is being investigated in the Hyponatraemia inquiry. (© UTV)

Jennifer Roberts broke down in court on Wednesday as she described leaving her daughter Claire at the Royal Victoria Hospital in October 1996.

She said she told nurses, "That's us away, Claire seems to be settled and sleeping", not knowing how seriously ill her daughter really was.

During cross-examination by senior council, the girl's father Alan Roberts also said that as they left the hospital they did not think there was any real cause for concern.

At this stage, their daughter, who had been suffering from vomiting and drowsiness, had already at the RVH for 24 hours.

"The fact that no doctor approached us we thought everything was under control," Mr Roberts said.

"I knew Claire was unwell, particularly because she was so active," her mother explained.

"I just thought I would let her be," she explained, adding that she had hoped her daughter would sleep off what she described as "a tummy bug".

But the next day Claire died. Her death is one of five being investigated by the Hyponatraemia inquiry.

It was set up in 2004 to examine the lack of records, a potential cover-up by health trusts and the information which was given to parents of the children.

The deaths of Adam Strain, Raychel Ferguson, Lucy Crawford and Conor Mitchell are also under investigation.

They happened between 1995 and 2003 and are linked to Hyponatraemia, a condition caused by not having enough sodium in the body's fluids.

The inquiry is expected to last into March next year.

© UTV News
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