The mum of an eight-month-old baby girl claims they were discharged from A&E at Queen's Hospital despite her daughter struggling to breathe - twice. 

Sophie Riches, 33, a Harold Hill mother of six, said she brought eight-month-old Lexi-May to Queen's Hospital December 10 after her baby girl developed breathing problems.

Lexi-May was not eating, feeding or drinking, her cry was irregular and she had wet nappies for a week, her mother said, prompting Sophie to seek emergency help.

"I've been in tears," Sophie said. "I've had a stress from where I had to sort out my childcare because I'm a single mum.

"I feel like my daughter was failed because if something had been done straight away she wouldn't have got to this level where she was needing the resus [resuscitation] room."

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Sophie claimed that after Lexi-May was discharged on December 10, the baby continued to have breathing problems, including a severe chest wheeze.

"She had a really bad chest wheeze, really bad," Sophie added.

On December 12 they went to the GP, Sophie said, who told her to go straight back to the hospital.

But again they were told by Queen's staff it would get better without treatment and discharged, Sophie claimed.

"Again, I felt like I wasn't listened to," she said. "I felt like they were trying to say to me that she's just got a cold and away you go - but it wasn't."

Sophie said the hospital offered suctioning to improve Lexi-May's breathing, but no x-rays, nebulisers, or anything to deal with the root cause of the problem.

Lexi-May was in a dire state that day, her mother said.

"Her stomach was sucking in," she said. "It was really bad and I wasn't happy with how grey she was looking.

Romford Recorder: Lexi-May had been struggling to breathe for almost a week, her mother saidLexi-May had been struggling to breathe for almost a week, her mother said (Image: Sophie Riches)

"She had cold feet where the blood wasn't getting into her body properly."

After three agonising days, Sophie said she took Lexi-May to the GP on December 15, who delivered an alarming verdict.

"This baby needs emergency help now," was what Sophie said the GP told her after diagnosing her with tachycardia, having an irregular heart rate of over 100 beats per minute.

On December 15 Sophie went back to Queen's Hospital, five days after she reported her baby's breathing problems, and only then was she rushed to an emergency ward, she claimed.

"They've rushed her to resus [a resuscitation ward]," Sophie said.

"She was just laying there not aware what was going on, really struggling, bearing in mind she hadn't eaten anything, yet they still discharged us on two occasions."

Romford Recorder: Lexi-May, seen her in a hospital bed, is just 8 months oldLexi-May, seen her in a hospital bed, is just 8 months old (Image: Sophie Riches)

Sophie claimed Lexi-May was finally put on optiflow machine, which pumped her lungs with air on, December 15 and given antibiotics after a week of pleading.

The Harold Hill mother praised the Tropical Lagoon ward and staff for "good" treatment of Lexi-May, but said she should have been admitted far sooner.

"She was on 48% oxygen which is a lot for a baby on Friday [December 15]," Sophie said. "They're normally concerned when a baby has less than 92%.

"She was in that much distress they were actually talking about incubating her."

Lexi-May was discharged on Tuesday (December 19) and is recovering well, her mother said, but Sophie warned there were other babies on that ward with the same condition.

A spokesperson for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re sorry Sophie Riches was unhappy with aspects of the care her baby daughter received.

"Her complaint will be investigated and responded to."