Nurse recalls ‘unusual’ rash in baby allegedly murdered by Lucy Letby

Nurse recalls'unusual' rash in baby allegedly murdered by Lucy Letby

The 32-year-old is on trial accused of murdering seven babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital (Image: SWNS/PA)

A nurse with more than 20 years’ experience has been “struck” by a rash that appeared on a baby allegedly murdered by Lucy Letby, a court case has heard.

Caroline Oakley told Manchester Crown Court she had never seen the “unusual” coloration in a newborn before.

The little girl, referred to as Child D, is said to be the third child to be murdered by Letby in two weeks.

Ms Oakley was the nurse-designate for Child D in the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital on the night shift of June 21, 2015, the jury heard.

Letby, 32, was assigned to two other babies in the same intensive care room.

Ms Oakley said she was “very happy” with child D, who was “stable” when she came into the shift at 8pm.

But at 1.30 a.m. she was suddenly called to the kindergarten, the court said.

Testifying from behind a screen, Ms Oakley said: “I remember being on my break, I was only gone half an hour.”

RETRANSMITTED PICTURE KEYWORD CHANGE Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Lucy Letby appearing in the dock at Manchester Crown Court where she is charged with the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of a further ten between June 2015 and June 2016 while on Newborn Works Department of the Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture date: Monday October 10, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS Letby. Photo credit should read: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Lucy Letby appears in the dock at Manchester Crown Court (Image: PA)

Her care notes noted that Child D’s oxygen levels had dropped and she had lost color.

She also noted a deep red or brown rash on the baby’s skin.

Ms Oakley said: “I don’t remember the exact rash exactly, but I do remember never having seen it before. It was dark, it was unusual.

“The rash hit me. I had never seen this rash on a baby I had cared for.

“Sometimes when a baby is unwell it loses its color and looks mottled all over where it was just a rash specifically in those areas. That stayed with me.’

Child D was treated by a doctor, the rash then resolved and she became ‘stable’ again.

But by 3.35am the baby monitor alarm had gone off, the newborn stopped breathing, the court was told.

Resuscitation began, but child D was pronounced dead at 4.25am.

A neonatal nurse accused of murdering seven babies was found by police with a Post-it note that read,

The Crown says Letby injected a fatal amount of air into Child D’s bloodstream (Image: MEN Media)

Ben Myers KC, defending Letby, asked the witness, “About the time this happened, was there any discussion at the unit that people had seen an unusual rash on one or more other babies?”

Mrs. Oakley replied, “I remember that.”

Mr Myers said: “And people compare their memories to what they’ve seen in other babies?”

Ms Oakley said: “I can’t remember the specifics but people had commented on another rash recently.”

The Crown says Letby injected a lethal amount of air into Child D’s bloodstream.

Mr Myers previously told the jury there was more evidence that infection played a role in her death and that the hospital failed to provide adequate care.

Letby, originally from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of ten others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial will continue on Monday.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/04/nurse-recalls-unusual-rash-on-baby-allegedly-murdered-by-lucy-letby-17703374/ Nurse recalls 'unusual' rash in baby allegedly murdered by Lucy Letby

Justin Scacco

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