The first exciting find of the year

So far it has been a disappointing year for wild edible mushrooms. But here at last is an exciting find (exciting for me, that is). I do believe that this is Amanita crocea (the saffron ringless amanita). Growing under old beech trees near Palace “Het Loo”. If so, then it should be edible but not recommended because easy to confuse with some very poisonous Amanita‘s, see Wikipedia:

The photographs do not do justice to the colour. The underside was in fact perfectly white. The upper side pale yellow and almost greenish reminding me of that most deadly of amanitas, the death cap which is rather common in these parts. But: the middle of the cap is depressed and pinkish or peach-coloured.

Other recent finds have been: numerous russulas. Often rather dried out and/or slug eaten. There are so few of them that the slugs got terribly hungry. Also a few Red Cracking Bolete. Similarly, hungrily attacked by the slugs.

By the way: … meanwhile in Manchester, the jury is still deliberating on the 22 charges against Lucy Letby. Part of the reason for this mushroom blog post was so that my previous post – on the LL case – would not be “on top”. I changed the homepage on my Twitter profile from my old Leiden University home page, to my blog page. But I did not want people who check out my Twitter profile to find out, too easily, what I have been writing about LL. It could be construed as contempt of court and Cheshire Police have threatened to have me arrested next time I visit the UK.

Heeding their request, I have removed all links by me on social media to blog posts and other internet sites where the actual science which should have been brought to bear on the case, but wasn’t, is expounded. By law, the jury has to make up their minds using only what was told them and what they saw in the courtroom during the nine month plus trial. A load of codswallop, in my opinion.

Ceteram senseo Lucia innocens est.

12 thoughts on “The first exciting find of the year”

    1. On the 25 September 2023 a meeting will take place to consider the possibiity of a retrial of 6 cases which resulted in Not Guilty verdicts in the Lucy L., trial. This approach involves some risks as well as possible
      benefits It also infers trust in the Jury’s “Guilty ” verdicts but not when they found the defendant ( Lucy L.,) “Not Guilty” . Is this sophism at work ?

      In the interests of justice I believe that the whole .case should receive a full retrial in which all relevant evidence, including up to date professional scientific research is presented and all the possible causes of the infant deaths are considered and ruled in or out. In my opinion the “Half Way House” approach is not the answer. Why not skip this step ( saving time and resources) and proceed directly to a full retrial ?

      1. I have to amend my most recent message. The review ( 25 September 2023) is to consider a retrial of 6 cases in the Lucy L., trial on which the Jury could not decide. I apologise for any confusion.

  1. In addition to my earlier comment I should like to say that I am unaware of any questions being raised at any time regarding whether staff – Lucy L., in particular- were” up to the minute” on the subject of carrying out the procedure for inserting Nasogastric tubes. The” Nursing Times” produced an article about this in 2020 following a review based on adult patients. Clearly errors can occur but the problems must be much greater in very vulnerable , premature infants.
    The procedure was a feature in the care of some of the infants and, without full training ( an ongoing requirement I gather) staff could be “incompetent ” for the task while intending to do their very best. It seems to me that organisations have the responsibility to ensure that all staff are adequately trained to meet current and professional standards.

  2. I agree with Daphne Strand’s comments 11th September 2023 and would reiterate that a ‘full trial’ with up to date research and experts would be more appropriate. Let us have justice, we are determining a young woman’s life and death behind bars.

    1. I have been reading more, partly about the poisonous atmosphere that must have existed at COCH for some time but also the views of many people who seem to be convinced by the Guilty verdict leading to Lucy L’s., sentence..
      Some have referred to “gut instinct”- the result of our brain consciously and sub-consciously drawing together all the issues lodged in our thinking. Of course this is true but it might not be reliable and it is not proof.

      It seems certain that Lucy was present on the ward on the occasions of problems with these very vulnerable infants. However, she was not the only common factor – I think that the plumbing problem was also there throughout. Apparently bacterial tests were carried out but not viral. some of these delicate infants could have been affected etc.,

      The Statutory Inquiry will not look into the criminal case but the plumbing is definitely a non-clinical Management aspect and should, presumably, be considered. However, I imagine that the Inquiry will prevent progress in other areas However, there should be a fresh trial including state-of-the Art- evidence.

  3. LL told a Manchester crown court that the sinks in the neonatal unit were leaking raw sewage and may have been a “contributing factor” and that the intensive care room for babies was not a safe working environment – we have raw sewerage coming out of sinks and coming out onto the floor in nursery one. LL further said “important thing to know, there were often plumbing issues” and where a six day old baby was being treated “it’s a contributory issue if the unit is dirty and staff were not able to wash their hands also plumbers were often called into nursery one – the intensive care room for the most vulnerable babies – to deal with ‘backflow’ through sinks from a separate theatre”. LL added “that’s not a safe working environment, I’m not sure what impact that could have on a poorly baby”.

    Surely, a vulnerable adult, let alone a neonatal baby, is likely to be affected by raw sewage in or near a patient’s room. The whole question of sewage leaks is of paramount safety concern and this should have been seriously addressed by the hospitals management under the Health and Safety Act 1974. Was H & S involved?

    1. I gather that plumbing work to address the problem of leaking sewerage was undertaken during 2016. I am wondering at what point did the mortality rate connected with the COCH NICU begin to fall. Could the more hygienic environment be the reason for better outcomes and not the absence of a particular nurse ?

  4. Baby Deaths between 8th June 2015 and 24th June 2016

    During 2015/6 when Lucy Letby was working in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester hospital Mr Mansutti said that there were issues with the drainage system for the whole building “it was may be weekly” between 2015/16.

    In March 2016 urgent work was required to rectify a blocked sink in nursery two and in a kitchen, while various checks were completed in the unit early July 2016.

    Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC asked the witness: ‘does it come to this, that this area of the hospital at the time was quite old and had the occasional plumbing problems”? “Yes”, said Mr Mansutti.
    Mr Mansutti told the court there were back-up procedures for hand-washing facilities in the event of sink blockages on the neonatal unit. He said “we did some work after to make sure it did not happen again”.

    Lucy Letby said “potentionally unsafe environment” if the unit is dirty and staff unable to wash their hands.

    There was no formal record on the hospital’s DATIX RISK manage system.

    How long do bacteria survive indoor sewage spills – EMLab P@K
    How long does it take to get sick after exposure to sewage?
    Symptoms typically develop 4 to 7 days after exposure and may last one to three weeks or longer. Most infections are uncomplicated and resolve completely. In a few cases the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream.

    Raw sewage (Biohazard) in a room of neonatal babies could be disastrous.

    Is it coincidence that deaths stopped after serious plumbing problems of raw sewage were solved?

    Presumably, the Biohazard of raw sewage was reported to the Risk & Patient Safety Office at the hospital and ultimately to the Health and Safety Executive.

  5. I had not followed this case and do not know Lucy Letby or any of her family and friends. I was, however, shocked to hear the sentence she was given particularly in view of the nature of the evidence ( substantially but not wholly circumstantial in the view of the Judge). At the time I wondered whether there was a training issue but after learning more I became more aware of unanswered questions.

    The parents of the vulnerable children who were harmed – or worse – at COCH NICU must, to a certain extent, have gradually come to terms with the events only to have their grief/ distress refreshed when they heard of the possibility that any harm was not the result of natural causes. The Coroner had made no adverse comments, . Not least of all for their sake I believe that the retrial is necessary and should hear all the new scientific and statistical evidence that is available.
    I recently watched the Panorama programme i from which I learned that Lucy L., had sought help from the Plumbing Dept., because of sewerage leakage etc., in her Unit and nearby. Th[s was corroberated by the plumber’s evidence during the Trial I am surprised that she seems to have been the only person to do so when it must have been worrying for everyone dealing with the very vulnerable condition of the infants..
    I wonder if it is possible to evaluate the effects of an unhealthy hospital environment on a fragile/delicate infant compared to survival in an hygienic setting ? I presume that bacteria and viral infections can be air borne before settling on surfaces etc., Apart from the possibility of infection I gather that one child was born with an air bubble in the digestive system ( a problem which can also occur following CPR.,)

    I support the appeal and the opportunity to hear fresh scientific/statistical research and new arguments.

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