Child died of swine flu at the Conquest Hospital

A CHILD has died of swine flu while being treated at the Conquest Hospital.

The youngster, whose name, age and gender have not been revealed, died at the hospital on The Ridge between September last year and February this year.

But the child’s death only came to light this week following a request to the hospital trust under the Freedom of Information Act.

East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (ESHT) said there had been three deaths at the Conquest due to swine flu since last September, and one at its sister hospital, the District General Hospital in Eastbourne.

All three victims had a background of illness.

The other two patients at the Conquest were an adult and pensioner.

Health officials at the trust are refusing to give details of the victims, saying it would be a breach of patient confidentiality.

In total there have been 17 people treated for swine flu at the hospital on The Ridge since last September following the latest outbreak of the virus, known in medical terms as H1N1.

A spokesman for ESHT said: “There have been a total of four fatalities across both our hospitals but information on actual cause of death from death certificates has not been investigated.

“Any suspected or confirmed cases of influenza are isolated on admission to hospital with the appropriate isolation precautions such as respiratory masks.

“The trust has set up separate areas specifically within A&E and acute medical wards and staff are being offered a seasonal flu vaccine.

“In-house influenza testing is also used, so results are available within a 24-hour period.”