A pathologist was unable to ascertain a baby’s cause of death after the mortuary fridge he had been contained in at St Helier Hospital stopped working, an inquest heard.

One-month-old Kaylem Jordan-Anderson, who had Down's Syndrome, was rushed to St Helier Hospital in the early hours of the morning on August 10, 2012.

An inquest at Croydon Coroner’s Court on Tuesday heard his mother, Nareice Jordan-Anderson, from Croydon, had woken up in the night expecting him to want a feed but found he was not breathing.

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Attempts were made to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

His body was stored in a refrigeration unit at the hospital mortuary. The fridge - which contained five infants - was later found not to be working.

An inquiry was launched last year after it was found to be switched off for 36 hours.

Dr Michael Ashworth, a pathologist from Great Ormond Street who carried out his post mortem, was unable to give a cause of death because Kaylem’s internal organs were undergoing autolysis - breaking down because his body had not been fully refrigerated.

However, even though his body was in an advanced state of decomposition the pathologist said it was not necessarily the case that the cause of death would be unknown.

Dr Sandra Blewitt, a consultant paediatrician at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children at St Helier Hospital, was asked by Croydon Coroner Dr Roy Palmer to look at Kaylem's records and give a likely cause of death.

She said she thought the over-arching diagnosis was Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) - often known as cot death.

Croydon Coroner Roy Palmer asked her: "So you feel confident, although the pathologist says it’s almost unobtainable, you would say it was a sudden unexpected death?"

She replied yes.

Dr Roy Palmer concluded: "I’m extremely sorry you lost your baby in sad circumstances.

"I think on the evidence I have heard on the balance of probabilities Kaylem died as a result of SUDI syndrome and that’s a natural cause of death and that’s what I’m going to record."

Dr Martin Stockwell, joint medical director said: “We deeply regret that a technical failure in the mortuary department at St Helier Hospital caused one of six refrigeration units to break down in August 2012, and would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt apologies to the families affected.

“We are very sorry that this incident occurred, and have worked hard to understand how and why it happened.

"Our thorough investigation into the technical failure is now complete, and we have implemented a number of changes as a result. 

"This includes installing alarms on all mortuary fridges which monitor the equipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We have worked closely with the Human Tissue Authority (the national authority responsible for regulating mortuary activities) throughout our investigations, and can confirm that we are exceeding the standards they expect of hospitals.”