A BABY girl allegedly attacked by Hereford nurse Lucy Letby as she turned 100-days-old was “very poorly” after her sudden deterioration, a court has heard.
Day shift staff on the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit were said to be “surprised” the infant had to be moved to intensive care overnight.
The Crown says Letby, 32, attempted to murder the youngster from 2am on September 7 2015 while a colleague looking after the child was on a hour-long break.
Hours earlier, the defendant had helped make a party banner for the premature-born baby, known as Child G.
On Tuesday, jurors at Manchester Crown Court were read a statement from a nurse who took over Child G’s care at the end of Letby’s night shift.
The nurse, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, stated: “I remember (Child G) being very poorly that day which surprised me and the staff because prior to September 7 (Child G) was very stable.”
She said Child G had been “feeding and growing” in the outside nursery rooms of the unit following her transfer from Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital.
The nurse said she remembered September 7 because Child G was 100-days-old and that was a regular milestone marked in which a staff member would bake a cake for a child, with balloons placed around the bedside.
She went on: “Lucy told me (Child G) had vomited while under the care of (another nurse) and then became unwell.
“She told me she had taken over as designated nurse because (the other nurse) did not have her intensive care course qualification.”
Referring to her medical notes, she said Child G had “blood pressure issues” throughout the day and required several infusions plus more antibiotics.
Her observations showed a raised heart rate, the court heard, and the nurse also noted Child G was pale and cold.
The nurse described Child G’s parents as a “loving, caring couple” who were “committed” to the wellbeing of their daughter.
Noting both had been on the unit all day, she wrote: “Understandable very upset and struggling to see her this poorly again. Have looked at 100 day cake and trying to remain positive at this stage.”
In the early hours of September 8, Child G was moved to Arrowe Park, where she had been born weighing just more than 1lb.
Medics suspected sepsis as Child G required ventilation support with 100% oxygen but gradually she improved and was breathing for herself a week later.
Her markers for infection also fell as doctors ruled she was clinically stable and no longer needed specialist care as she was returned to the Countess of Chester on September 16.
Letby is accused of overfeeding Child G with milk through a nasogastric tube (NGT) and/or injecting air into the tube.
The prosecution says she made two more attempts to murder Child G on September 21.
In his opening statement to the jury, Ben Myers KC, defending, said Letby did not do anything to contribute to the health problems of Child G, who he said was “extremely premature” and “high risk”.
Letby, originally from Hereford, denies murdering seven babies and trying to murder 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.
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