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Norwich schoolboy’s leg ‘exploded’ with pus after medics left wood in wound

PUBLISHED: 08:27 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 18 October 2017

The wood removed from Reece Barber's leg. Photo: Ben Barber

The wood removed from Reece Barber's leg. Photo: Ben Barber

Ben Barber

Pieces of wood left in a schoolboy’s leg after his fall out of a tree, caused his wound to “explode” with pus, his family have said.

Reece Barber, 10, who fell out of a tree and got some wood stuck in his leg.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY Reece Barber, 10, who fell out of a tree and got some wood stuck in his leg. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Reece Barber, 10, fell out of a tree on September 4 - and his worried parents Ben Barber and Claire Carpenter rushed him straight 
to A&E.

The injury to his leg was cleaned up at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and Reece, a Lionwood Junior School pupil, was given stitches.

But nine days later, Ms Carpenter said things were not right.

The mother-of-four said: “I had taken him up to bed because he said he was hot and dizzy. On the 13th his leg just exploded, with this gunky, smelly, awful stuff.”

Reece Barber, 10, who fell out of a tree and got some wood stuck in his leg.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY Reece Barber, 10, who fell out of a tree and got some wood stuck in his leg. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The family, who live in Womersley Road, Norwich, called the NHS 111 number, who told them to go to the walk-in centre on Rouen Road. But medics here sent them straight to the NNUH, where little Reece had to have emergency surgery to remove pieces of wood left in his leg - one of which was more than 5cm long.

Because of the oversight, Reece was not able to go back to school at the start of the new term, and only returned last week.

“I’m 90pc sure he had sepsis,” said Ms Carpenter. “The surgeon was incredible, but we’re going to put in an official complaint about A&E because my poor 10-year-old boy has suffered.”

Ms Carpenter said Reece had undiagnosed autism, so the whole experience of going to the hospital and not knowing what was going to happen was traumatic for him anyway.

“We were just trying to keep him calm,” she said. “He will say himself it was A&E he was wary of.”

A spokesman for NNUH said: “We are sorry to hear about this patient’s experience at our hospital and there is an investigation under way.

“We have been in contact with the patient’s family, in accordance with our responsibilities under the duty of candour regulations, and will inform them of the outcome of the investigation.

“Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to answer any specific questions on the clinical care of individual patients. We are always committed to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality care. We investigate all incidents in order to identify ways to improve and cases are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team.”

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