Saturday, 16 October 2010

SIDS: co-sleeping

By Russ Newton

THE family of a three-month-old baby who died tragically in his mother's bed say she was not to blame.
Medical evidence at the Doncaster inquest into the death of Alfie Maxfield also supported their view and Assistant Coroner Mark Beresford recorded a natural causes verdict on the tot, who had been born prematurely.
Both his parents, Neil Maxfield and Jenny Berriman, were in tears at the end of the inquest, which was told Alfie died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Neil's dad, Roy Maxfield, who lives in Armthorpe, said they had expected the verdict although Jenny had wondered if she was to blamed after Alfie's death in April.
"We have said all the way along that no-one is to blame.
"It was such a shock that nobody could believe it because he was a brilliant baby. We just think young parents should be warned more about the risk factors of cot death when they leave hospital," said Roy.
Alfie's mum and dad had been out drinking while her mother babysat for them at their house in Askern Road, Bentley, and when they returned home Neil went to bed first because he had drunk the most.
Twenty-year-old Jenny slept in the spare bed with Alfie laying on his back and told how she got up in the middle of the night for a drink and realised something was not right about him.
Neil said: "I heard Jenny screaming, 'He's not breathing, he's not breathing'. He looked pale and his lips were blue.
"I started to give CPR, giving him two breaths and was then pressing his chest."
While Neil tried to revive his son paramedics arrived and took over but on arrival at Doncaster Royal Infirmary Alfie was certified dead.
Jenny's mother, Heather Berriman, who said in her statement that Jenny was not drunk, had returned home when she got a call from her.
"She was hysterical on the phone, saying, 'I think Alfie's dead. Mummy, I need you'. I could hear Neil in the background crying and sobbing, 'I think he's gone'. The shock and pain is too much to bear."
A post-mortem examination showed Alfie was not suffering any infection or showing signs of pneumonia when he died and there was no cause for suspicion. Det Con Rob Cobley, of Doncaster CID, added there was no suggestion of foul play.

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