Woman succeeds in claim for unexpected death of her husband from sepsis

This case concerned the tragic and unexpected death of the Claimant’s husband, Mr M, who had presented to the emergency department with a high temperature and tachycardia. Although there was a differential diagnosis of sepsis, the illness was initially thought to be viral and a plan was made to administer steroids, as Mr M had an underlying autoimmune condition and there was no obvious source of sepsis. This plan was endorsed when he was transferred to the ward. Later that evening he had an episode of diarrhoea and a urine dipstick test was also positive for possible infection.

Despite this and further diarrhoea, and general deterioration in his condition overnight, no referral for additional medical review was made.

At consultant review the following morning, antibiotics were prescribed but, unfortunately, due to communication issues, there was a further three hour delay in administering these. Ten minutes after the first dose, Mr M suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of sepsis and died.

Group A Streptococcus was identified in his blood culture.

An investigation into Mr M’s death concluded that there had been a failure to recognise the deterioration and a failure to follow the sepsis screening tool. The diarrhoea, positive urine dipstick and deterioration in his condition should have been recognised as signs of infection which should have prompted administration of intravenous antibiotics, which would have saved Mr M’s life. With assistance from our clinical negligence solicitors, the case settled for a six-figure sum.

Denise Deakin was instructed in this matter. She said “It is extremely sad that, but for relatively simple and timely treatment, Mr M would have still been alive.”

For more information on Sepsis negligence claims, visit: https://www.mooreblatch.com/injury/medical-negligence/other-medical-negligence-claims/sepsis-negligence-claims/