Baby’s rib injuries did not directly contribute to death, coroner says



The inquest of a baby boy who was just weeks old when he died has concluded that two sets of rib fractures didn’t contribute to his death.

Phoenix-Jo Jones died at 44 days old from a “catastrophic” bleed on his brain.

A postmortem examination found he had suffered two sets of rib fractures that medical experts concluded were “non-accidental”.

In the conclusion of the inquest into Phoenix-Jo’s death, assistant coroner Margaret Jones said: “The deceased had suffered two episodes of non-accidental rib injuries, and two bleeds on the brain occurring broadly within the same time scale.

“The rib injuries in themselves were not fatal, but the bleeds on the brain did lead to death.

“The underlying cause of the bleeds was unascertained.”

Phoenix-Jo, from Bentilee, was first seen at to the Royal Stoke University Hospital on April 18, 2016 with “cold-like” symptoms. These did not require treatment and he was discharged.

However, he was seen again the next day after he collapsed at home.

He was diagnosed with bleeds on the brain.

After he stabilised, he was discharged home on April 28.

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Doctors also highlighted that “there was anticipated neuro-disability” as a result of this episode.

However, Phoenix-Jo collapsed again while at home, and was readmitted to the Royal Stoke on April 29.

He was found to have a “catastrophic subdural bleed on the brain”.

The baby was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where he passed away on April 30.

Mrs Jones added: “Post mortem examination identified two separate episodes of posterior rib fractures.

“The first being 10 to 20 days old, and the second 36 to 72 hours old, considered to be non-accidental.”

Despite the concerning nature of the injuries, the court concluded that there was no direct link between the injuries and the brain haemorrhages that directly caused Phoenix-Jo’s death.

The cause of these haemorrhages was given as “unascertained”.

“What I hope the family will take away from this inquest is that no matter how hard we try, sometimes all of the answers are just not there.

“I express my very deepest sympathy indeed, but this inquest is now closed.”

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