Grieving parents say newborn baby girl was denied a potentially lifesaving test because of “cost”.
The grieving parents have accused hospital chiefs of “putting a price on life” by refusing to carry out tests on his newborn daughter which may have saved her life – because they were too expensive.
Summer Palmer lost her fight for life after developing a blood infection days after she was born prematurely.
Parents Simon Palmer and Lisa Standen claim a consultant at Medway Maritime Hospital, in Kent, told them monitoring tests were not performed because they were too pricey.
Simon said: “We’ve been told the tests were too expensive. They’re putting a price on a life, and that’s not right.”
Miss Standen had a difficult pregnancy during which she suffered heavy bleeding.
Summer was born at 25 weeks and six days at King’s College hospital in London. She was rushed into intensive care because she had underdeveloped lungs.
Simon said: “We only got to hold her once and it was for five minutes.
“To hold her felt lovely. We wanted to hold her for longer.”
But at nine days’ old, and weighing just under 2lb, she was well enough to be transferred closer to her parents.
Lisa, 33, spotted bruising on Summer’s feet at King’s but was told it was because she was born premature and her feet had been rubbing on the bed.
But tests later revealed she had neonatal sepsis.
Simon and Lisa, who held their baby for only a few precious moments, said they were told such infections were generally monitored on a 48-hour basis.
Simon claims a consultant later told him that the readings of this test were high enough to cause concern.
But Simon claims no new antibiotics were introduced in response to the results.
And he claims further tests, which check how fast the infection spreads, were not done and Summer died on September 25, at 19 days old.
Simon said: “We found out that the test could have been carried out every two days but they didn’t carry it out until four days later, the day she died.
“When we asked a consultant why the test wasn’t carried out two days later, he said it was down to high costs.
“They could have carried out the test and given her two more days on antibiotics.”
The pair – who have three other children aged between four and one – have still not been able to hold a funeral for their daughter due to a mix-up, which meant her body was not released until Wednesday.
Simon, 36, said: “On September 26, the consultant agreed to a post-mortem being done at Great Ormond Street Hospital (in London) that evening or the following day.
“But then we found that she had been lying in the mortuary at Medway for 10 days.
“In terms of grief it’s just another thing to the list.”
The post-mortem examination results will not be available for another six weeks.
Simon added: “I feel massive, massive amounts of anger as well as sadness for Summer not being here.
“Losing a child is very hard. The only thing that has kept us going is the other kids.”
Our thoughts are with Summer’s family. RIP little one.
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