A baby was left fighting for his life after a small scald caused an infection to develop which was missed by doctors.
On 3 September 2011 10-month-old Alexander Caven-Atack received a burn the size of a 10-pence-piece when he grabbed his father’s hot drink.
The injury was treated by doctors at the Colchester General Hospital’s accident and emergency unit, but a bacterial infection causing Scalded Skin Syndrome was missed.
Five days following the visit to A&E the skin on Alexander’s back, arms and face started to peel and blister. He was rushed to the burns unit at Broomfield Hospital where surgeons had to remove 80% of his top layer of skin during six operations. Alexander’s parents were told he may not survive the gruelling procedures.
Alexander spent two weeks in the intensive care unit wrapped in an anti-septic suit receiving antibiotics intravenously.
If the bacterial infection had been identified sooner it could have been treated with a course of antibiotics and creams.
Alexander has thankfully made a full recovery, but his parents are warning that even a minor burn can result in the potentially fatal Scalded Skin Syndrome.
Gwen Kirby-Dent, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Clinical Negligence Unit said: “Scalded Skin Syndrome is very rare but signs of an infection would have been present and the failure to make an earlier diagnosis has put Alexander and his parents through terrible times. Thankfully Alexander has made a full recovery but lessons need to be learnt to ensure this does not happen again.”
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