A four-day-old infant died of sepsis because midwives were slow and the doctor prescribed paracetamol rather than antibiotics.

  • Harvey Nicholson, who died of oxygen starvation from sepsis complications, was the cause 
  • Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull Royal Tonic to Sonia Brice & James Nicholson
  • Inquest finds that his midwife team didn’t respond fast enough to his Sepsis.  

Four-day old baby succumbed to sepsis. Midwives were slow and the doctor administered paracetamol, instead of antibiotics. The case was referred to the coroner. 

Harvey Nicholson, who died of hypoxia (oxygen starvation), was diagnosed after suffering sepsis in August 2019, shortly after his birth.    

His parents, Sonia Brice (HRI), gave birth to him on August 23rd. He later moved to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to receive specialist care. Unfortunately, he died shortly after.

Harvey Nicholson died from hypoxia (oxygen starvation) which came on after he developed sepsis after he was born in August 2019 at Hull Royal Infirmary (pictured)

Harvey Nicholson succumbed to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), which occurred after Harvey Nicholson was born at Hull Royal Infirmary in August 2019. (pictured).

Inquest at Hull Coroners Court this month revealed that HRI’s Midwife Team failed to respond quickly to the patient’s sepsis and that a subsequent paediatric inspection failed to recognize his symptoms.

Harvey was prescribed paracetamol by doctors when it should have been antibiotics.

Harvey was not receiving adequate treatment from the HRI staff, which led to several failures being identified by the coroner.

Sonia was not reported by staff as having suffered UTIs and GBS during pregnancy.

The inquest found that doctors refused to give Harvey antibiotics. Harvey’s sepsis was also not detected by his midwife.

He was born at Hull Royal Infirmary (pictured) on August 23, to parents Sonia Brice and James Nicholson, and later transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for specialist care where he tragically passed away

Hull Royal Infirmary, where he was born on August 23, 2003 to Sonia Brice (pictured), and James Nicholson later transferred him to Glenfield Hospital at Leicester for more specialist care. It is here that he tragically died.

According to Coroner Lorraine Harris, Harvey would have been given broad-spectrum antibiotics if all information had been gathered correctly. This was a likely outcome.

“There was not a risk assessment nor a screening for neonatal sepsis. A delay of one hour after birth could have affected the outcome.

Harvey’s blood infection combined with his likely exposure to meconium (newborn urine) in labour led to severe hypoxia. His brain and liver became oxygen deficient, according to the report.

Ms Harris said that her husband’s death had been caused by neglect.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said, “We deeply regret the mistakes that we made in causing Harvey’s death.” Harvey would have survived if the proper procedure had been followed, we accept.

“We apologize to Harvey’s loved ones and offer our sincere condolences to Harvey’s families.

We are not able to speak on the matter of Harvey’s passing without a court order.

“But, we’d like to highlight our evidence to this inquest that our procedures have undergone significant modifications to ensure we don’t make similar mistakes again.”