Woman dies from misdiagnosed sepsis two weeks after giving birth

Waiting roomSepsis is a silent killer and unfortunately, is on the rise.

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, the disease causes 5 deaths every hour in the UK.

New guidelines have been introduced to help cut the number of deaths attributed to sepsis, and failure to follow these guidelines could result in financial penalties being imposed on NHS hospitals in England.

Sepsis is a bacterial infection which can result in life changing surgery, and ultimately in some cases, death. The very nature of this disease means that it can affect anyone, from babies through to the elderly, and in many cases, strikes where someone has already had treatment for something unrelated, although this is not always the case.

In April 2018, Kimberley Jeffries died after contracting sepsis just two weeks after giving birth to her first child. She was discharged two days after receiving an emergency caesarean despite still being in pain. After repeated trips back to hospital she was finally admitted with suspected sepsis two weeks after giving birth.

A report into Kimberley’s death has revealed that doctors hadn’t made full notes on her visits to hospitals, in particular, regarding abnormalities. The report found that it cannot been known if those abnormalities were ignored or if the significance of them was not recognised by staff.

The internal report by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust recommended amongst other things that:

  • Training is given to all maternity staff to ensure they recognise the symptoms of sepsis
  • A review of record keeping is undertaken by senior management
  • A maternity consultant should be consistently involved in the care of sick women

With cases of sepsis increasing it is important that people are aware of the symptoms. However, if you find yourself or a loved one in need of legal advice due to a sepsis misdiagnosis, we can help you make a sepsis claim.

Get expert advice

Call today and speak to Anna Watson, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you could claim compensation.

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