The doctor tells the murder trial of Lucy Letby, accused of killing seven babies, that “a chill ran down my spine” when he found a possible explanation for the babies collapsing.
- A doctor described ‘unusual and inexplicable’ events around nurse Lucy Letby
- Letby, 33, is accused of murdering seven babies between June 2015 and June 2016.
A doctor said a “shiver ran down my spine” when he found a possible explanation for numerous baby collapses, he heard the murder trial of Lucy Letby.
Dr Ravi Jayaram said a series of ‘unusual and ‘unexplained’ events at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit led to a meeting of consultants in late June 2016.
Nurse Letby, 33, is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others on various dates between June 8, 2015 and June 25, 2016.
Today, consultant Dr Jayaram told Manchester Crown Court how he saw ‘bright pink’ patches ‘fluttering around’ the abdomen of a baby he treated in April 2016.
Dr Jayaram told the court that he was called to the unit at around 4pm on 9 April 2016, the day Lucy Letby would later win £135 in that year’s Grand National.
A girl allegedly attacked by nurse Lucy Letby when she turned 100 days old was “very unwell” after suddenly deteriorating overnight, a court has heard (Pictured, Letby with baby at Countess of Chester Hospital)
The jury was told how he responded to an emergency call from nurses to attend to child M, who had stopped breathing as his heart rate and oxygen levels plummeted.
He said it was a prolonged resuscitation that lasted “close to 30 minutes” and at one point he thought about stopping efforts to revive him.
However, Child M “come back suddenly” when his heart rate increased and he started breathing again, he said.
Dr Jayaram said: “I was very pleased, but I couldn’t really explain what had caused it and why it had suddenly gotten better.”
He later told police that he witnessed the “unusual” discoloration of Boy M’s skin when he arrived during resuscitation.
He also confirmed that Letby had continued to work in the unit for another 11 months after the alleged attack on Baby M.
Dr Jayaram told the court: ‘They were very bright pink patches on her torso that were fluttering. They appeared and disappeared.
“Once circulation was restored and his heart rate was over 100[beats per minute]they were gone.”
Letby is accused of overfeeding Child G with milk through a nasogastric tube (NGT) and/or injecting air into the tube.
He said the discoloration was “very similar” to what he had seen in his treatment of Child A, the first alleged murder victim.
Other colleagues had talked about seeing skin discoloration in other babies who also collapsed in the unit, he said.
A meeting of consultants was held on June 29, 2016, the court heard.
Dr Jayaram said: “After a series of unusual, unexplained and unexplained events in the neonatal unit, the entire consulting corps sat down and said, ‘We really need to find out what’s going on here.'”
He said “one thing that came up in our discussion” was gas embolism, when gas bubbles enter a vein or artery and can block the blood supply.
Dr. Jayaram said that night prompted him to do a literature search where he found a research paper describing the effects of air embolism.
He said: “I remember sitting on my couch at home with the iPad and reading that description, and the physical shiver that went down my spine because it matched what we were seeing.”
Dr. Jayaram emailed his colleagues a link to the research paper the next day.
Letby, originally from Hereford, is said to have attacked several of her victims by injecting air into their bloodstreams.
She denies all the accusations.