Patient Joins Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell In Raising Awareness Of Condition
A woman left fighting for her life after developing sepsis has spoken for the first time about her battle to return to full health.
Laura Battrum, of Birmingham, had to undergo emergency surgery for a perforated bowel after she was diagnosed with the potentially fatal condition.
In the weeks before, she had sought medical advice for a rash as well as chest and abdominal pain.
The 35-year-old, who was placed in an induced coma for four weeks and spent four months in hospital following the emergency procedure, is now wanting to raise awareness of the signs of condition.
It comes after Laura, of King’s Heath, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received.
Expert Opinion“Through our work we often see the devastating consequences that families can be left to face because of sepsis. Awareness of the signs of sepsis and early detection are key to beating it.
“Laura has asked us to investigate the care she received in the hope that any potential lessons can be learned to improve sepsis care in the future as it is such a dangerous condition.” Jennifer Shipley - Associate Solicitor
Laura, who is engaged to Steve, 37, underwent a gastric sleeve operation on 3 January 2017, and was discharged from hospital the following day.
She started complaining of a rash on 7 January. Over the coming days Laura sought medical advice on a number of occasions.
On 20 January Laura visited her GP complaining of chest and abdominal pains, diarrhoea and breathing difficulties. Laura was advised to take fluids and paracetamol.
Over the coming days her condition continued to deteriorate. On 29 January, Laura’s fiancé called for an ambulance. Laura was in and out of consciousness and was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Following a CT scan Laura underwent emergency surgery in the early hours of 30 January and was placed in an induced coma. Laura underwent six further procedures to remove the infection from her body.
Laura, a health and social assessor, was woken from her coma on 27 February and discharged home on 23 May 2017. Laura was readmitted on 26 May 2017, with a further infection. She was discharged on 6 July 2017.
She now has a stoma and still continues to suffer with mobility problems and fatigue.
Laura said: “For several weeks I was in more and more pain.
“It got to the point when the pain got so bad Steve called for an ambulance and that is the last thing I really remember.
“The seriousness of my condition only hit home when, after coming round from my coma, the doctors said it was touch and go whether I was going to pull through.
“I did not really know much about sepsis and how dangerous it can be before I fell ill.
“I now just want others to realise how dangerous it can be and how important it is to be aware of the possibly signs of the condition.”
Dr Ron Daniels BEM, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said: “Every year in the UK 250,000 people are affected by sepsis, 44,000 of whom lose their lives to the condition. If diagnosed quickly, however, sepsis is easily treatable and we believe that earlier diagnosis and treatment across the UK would save at least 14,000 lives a year.
“Whenever there are signs of infection - an infection can be caused by anything from a small cut or insect bite to a chest infection or urinary tract infection - it’s crucial that members of the public seek medical attention urgently and ‘Just Ask: “Could it be sepsis?”.
“With every hour that passes before the right antibiotics are administered, risk of death increases. Better awareness could save thousands of lives and, together, we can change the way sepsis is handled in the UK.”
Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and, potentially, death especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.
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