Paramedic cautioned after Runcorn boy's death
Published: 28th Apr 2010 16:34:53
A paramedic who failed to spot that a two-year-old boy had a fractured skull, hours before his death, has been cautioned by an employment tribunal.
A Health Professions Council (HPC) panel said Andrew Orme was not responsible for the death of Lewis Urmson-Brown, of Runcorn, Cheshire.
But it ruled that his failings in the case were "serious" and found his fitness to practise was impaired.
Lewis's parents dialled 999 after the boy fell in a playground in June 2008.
The HPC panel decided that Mr Orme had "learnt from this experience" and opted against striking off or suspending the paramedic.
He was instead handed a caution order which will remain on his record for four years.
Lewis suffered the fatal injury on 15 June 2008 after falling whilst he was being carried by his father, Chris Brown.
He suffered a 15cm (5.9in) fracture to his skull and a post-mortem examination later revealed a blood clot.
His parents contacted 999 and he was seen by paramedics at about 1940 BST.
However, he died at Warrington Hospital the next day after his parents dialled 999 a second time, shortly after 0300 BST.
An earlier hearing heard that Mr Orme was not told the boy had banged his head, however the panel ruled that he "did not sufficiently assess patient A's interaction with his surroundings".
He also failed to conduct a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) test that checks the conscious state of an individual.
In addition, the child's parents were not told in "sufficiently clear and forceful" language that the child should be taken to hospital.
The paramedic also failed to give adequate advice by not telling the parents to rouse Lewis at intervals during the night.
It also found that Mr Orme did not honestly account for the time he spent on the emergency call.
Announcing the decision, panel chairman Dr Alexander Yule said that the child did not die as a result of the paramedic's "shortcomings".
But nonetheless, his failings were "serious" and warranted a "lengthy" caution order, he added.
The panel accepted that the "tragic case" had affected Mr Orme and were confident that he would not repeat the mistakes.
After the incident, Mr Brown and Lewis's mother Michelle Urmson were arrested on suspicion of murder but later released without charge.
An inquest ruled that the boy's death was accidental.
Mr Orme has 28 days to appeal against the ruling.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Paramedic cautioned after Runcorn boy's death . [Online] (Updated 28 Apr 2010)
Available at: http://www.glasgowwired.co.uk/news.php/55505-Paramedic-cautioned-after-Runcorn-boys-death [Accessed 26th May 2013]
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