There is a critical shortage of ventilator support for babies at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
And the problem was so dire over the weekend that the head of the Paediatrics Department, Dr Clyde Cave, wrote an email on Saturday to senior hospital officials warning that the critical situation to which they were previously alerted “has now reached a dire crisis”.
The email, which was copied to Dr David Callender, Director of Medical Services; Louise Bobb, acting chief executive officer; and consultant paediatrician Professor Anne St John, said in part: “One anticipates that babies will die this weekend as we are unable to respond with ventilator support.”
Cave advised all doctors on the paediatric service to contact their union and medico-legal representative as failure to provide the accustomed respiratory support to newborns who needed it would be viewed as negligence.
“Given the Ministry of Health’s position that nothing has changed at the QEH, it would then seem to fall squarely in the lap of the doctors. We must protect ourselves,” he warned.