Northern Ireland news

Hospital consultant describes efforts made to try to save baby's life

The 30-year old has accepted she stabbed the youngsters but has denied the two charges

A CONSULTANT from the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has described the efforts made to try and save the life of an eight-week old baby.

The boy was rushed to the hospital's A&E department last July 27 last year after sustaining two stab wounds to his chest.

Despite efforts made by medical staff, he was pronounced dead at 9pm that evening.

His mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is standing trial at Belfast Crown Court on charges of murdering her son and attempted to murder her two-year old daughter.

The 30-year old has accepted she stabbed the youngsters but has denied the two charges, and the jury is being asked to determine what her state of mind was when she attacked her children.

On the third day of the trial, the jury heard evidence from both the medic who treated the boy, and a second doctor who examined the injured girl.

The A&E consultant who treated the child confirmed he arrived at the hospital at 8.41pm, and at this stage he was still receiving CPR from the paramedics who brought him in the ambulance.

When asked by Crown barrister Richard Weir KC about the baby's condition upon arrival, the consultant said he was not breathing, he didn't have a pulse and the two wounds were oozing blood.

She said the baby was given oxygen, and after a cardiac monitor was attached and didn't pick up a heartbeat, drugs were then administered to try and stimulate his heart.

He was also given fluids and further attempts were made to resuscitate him, with the consultant telling the court: "There were no signs of any response to any of the measures.

When she was asked what the next steps taken were, the consultant said: "There was a discussion with the resuscitation team, and after making sure that everyone agreed that everything had been done, it was decided it was appropriate at that time to stop."

Also giving evidence was a consultant paediatric surgeon from the same department who treated the injured two-year old girl.

The youngster was also taken from her home to the hospital via ambulance and was described as "bright and alert" but "quite distressed and upset" when she arrived. The medic revealed the little girl had a single stab wound to her chest which "narrowly missed her heart by millimeters" but which damaged her diaphragm and caused a cut to her liver.

She also revealed the youngster was taken to theatre the following morning where she underwent successful keyhole surgery.

The jury was also shown video footage of the accused being brought to a PSNI custody suite following her arrest.

In the recording, she is heard saying "I killed my children, and when asked by an officer if she suffers from any mental health problems, and replies: "Considering what I have done, most probably I do."

At hearing.

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