Parents Whose Son Died Of Sepsis Call On NHS To Improve Treatment Of Condition

Medical Negligence Lawyers Instructed To Investigate Whether More Could Have Been Done To Prevent Man’s Death


The devastated parents of a man who died ‘in agony’ despite undergoing weeks of tests to find the cause of his illness have backed calls for the NHS to do more to improve treatment for patients suffering sepsis (blood poisoning).

Andrew Raybould was just 30 when he died in February 2012 of severe pancreatitis, sepsis and multi-organ failure at Walsall Manor Hospital.

His parents, Geoff and Maureen, have now instructed medical negligence experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done by staff within Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to diagnose his conditions sooner and provide treatment to save his life.

The couple, from Aldridge in Walsall, are speaking out for the first time today (10 September) – as health minister Dan Poulter and a panel of experts give evidence to the public administration select committee about whether recommendations made to improve care for people suffering from sepsis have been implemented, and the adequacy of progress made to date.

Latest NHS figures show that every year in the UK around 100,000 people are admitted to hospital with sepsis and around 37,000 people will die as a result of the condition.

Andrew first began suffering symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation at the end of December 2011 and on 3 January 2012 his GP referred him to Walsall Manor Hospital for investigations as to the cause of his symptoms. However, over the course of that month, Andrew was discharged from Walsall Manor Hospital three times, with hospital staff unable to identify the problem.

By the end of January, the bus driver had lost two stone in weight and was in constant severe pain. After being admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital again, he was eventually diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, acute renal failure and sepsis. He was admitted to the intensive care unit.  

By this point he was too ill to undergo surgery and his major organs began shutting down. He died on 2 February.

Rebecca Risby, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office representing the family, said: “This is a tragic case that has seen a young man’s life cut short.

“It was not until Andrew became critically ill that pancreatitis and sepsis were diagnosed, by which time it was too late for him to undergo any treatment. We are investigating his care and will be contacting the Trust in the coming weeks regarding the treatment provided to Andrew.

“Sepsis is a devastating condition which causes the major organs to shut down, but if caught early enough, it can be treated with intravenous antibiotics. We are pleased that action is being taken by the Government and health professionals to try and improve the standard of care given to patients with sepsis, as new measures must be implemented to prevent unnecessary deaths from the condition.”

Maureen, a 58-year-old housewife, added: “Geoff and I are heartbroken by Andrew’s death and we are still struggling to come to terms with everything that has happened.

“It was awful watching him suffer in agony but we felt helpless as hospital staff kept discharging him without us being told the cause of his symptoms.

“When we were told that there was nothing more that could be done for our son it felt like our world came crashing down around us. He was only 30 and should have had a long and happy life ahead of him.

“We believe more could have been done by the hospital staff to diagnose Andrew’s conditions quicker meaning he would have had access to treatment. We have instructed Irwin Mitchell to determine whether this is the case.

“We are pleased to see that action is being taken by the Government to improve treatment for sepsis but sadly it comes too late for our son. We just hope that lessons will be learnt from any failures found in his care in the hope that no other parents have to go through the trauma of losing their child to a treatable condition.”

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