Loved Ones Instruct Medical Negligence Lawyers To Investigate Mum-Of-Four’s Care
The family of a Lowestoft woman who died from sepsis after being discharged from hospital with a kidney infection are calling for lessons to be learned after a Hospital Trust admitted shortcomings in her care.
Mum-of-four Teresa Anderson, from Kessingland, attended James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) complaining of pain in her left side. A CT scan was carried out and she was discharged with suspected kidney stones.
By the following day, Teresa’s condition had deteriorated and she had started vomiting. She was taken to hospital by ambulance, where she died the next morning, aged 60. A post mortem examination report stated her cause of death to be sepsis, which is where the body attacks itself in response to infection, and a kidney infection.
Following Teresa’s death in May 2020, her family, including husband Malcolm, 66, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under the JPUH NHS Foundation Trust.
An inquest took place at Norfolk Coroner’s Court last August, which concluded Teresa died from acute pyelonephritis – a severe kidney infection – which was not initially diagnosed and treated.
A year on, Teresa’s family are joining with their legal team to mark World Sepsis Day on September 13 by calling for lessons to be learned. It comes after the NHS Trust admitted a breach of duty in that Teresa should have been recognised to be at an increased risk of infection due to being diabetic.
It further admitted that the correct management plan would have been to commence Teresa on a course of antibiotics. Had this happened, “on the balance of probabilities, the infection would have been controlled and treated at an early stage before progressing to septic shock and acute kidney injury” and Teresa “would have likely survived the infection and would not have died when she did.”
Through NHS Resolution, the Trust apologised for the “shortcomings in care provided” to Teresa.
Expert Opinion“The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Teresa’s family, losing her so suddenly and tragically.
Sadly, nothing will ever make up for their loss or bring Teresa back, but we welcome the Trust’s admissions. It’s now vital that lessons are learnt to improve patient safety and help prevent others from going through what Teresa’s loved ones have.
Early diagnosis and treatment is key to beating sepsis, therefore it’s important people know what signs to look out for when it comes to detecting this incredibly dangerous and life-threatening condition. World Sepsis Day is an opportunity for Teresa’s family to share their story and help raise awareness.”
Amie Minns - Solicitor
Teresa was taken to hospital by ambulance on 11 May, 2020, complaining of left sided abdominal pain. A CT scan was carried out and she was suspected to have passed a kidney stone. She was discharged on 12 May without antibiotics.
The following day, an ambulance returned Teresa to hospital. She was diagnosed with septic shock, acute pyelonephritis and acute kidney injury. She died on 14 May.
At the time of Teresa’s death, she and Malcolm had been together for 44 years and married for 30. They were parents to Clint, 45, Shane, 41, and Jodie, 36. They were also guardians to their grandson Tye, 15, following the death of their daughter Natasha around 11 years ago.
Malcolm, a retired fisherman, said: “It’s been more than two years since we lost Teresa, but the pain is still as raw now as it was back then.
“Teresa was my soulmate and we’d been together more than half our lives. Being without her feels like part of me is missing.
“Our children, including Tye, are also still finding it difficult to come to terms with what’s happened, but we’re grateful we all have each other to help us get through it.
“Not for one minute was I prepared lose Teresa like that, but to know that the Trust has now admitted it was wrong is a relief. While it can’t bring Teresa back to us, it provides us with some sense of closure and we’re hopeful that lessons will be learned to help prevent other families from suffering like we have.”
Signs of sepsis include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering and muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.
For more information visit www.sepsistrust.org