Hospital Trust Agrees Series Of Actions to Address Matters Of Concern
The grieving partner of a man who died after developing sepsis following a delay in diagnosing an abscess has spoken out on her ‘devastating’ loss.
Carl Wright, from Nottingham, was admitted to Linden Lodge rehabilitation unit at Nottingham City Hospital in August 2021 following cardiac surgery.
On 14 October 2021, blood test results suggested Carl potentially had an infection. However, no further action was taken.
Around one week later, Carl began vomiting and complaining of pain. He was suspected to be dehydrated and was administered intravenous fluids on 22 October. His condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the Emergency Department at the Queen’s Medical Centre on 25 October where he was reviewed and considered to be suffering from sepsis and septic shock.
He failed to respond to antibiotics. A scan was arranged which identified an abdominal abscess.
Carl died on 29 October 2021, aged 60. A post-mortem examination found his cause of death to be an abscess in his abdomen and heart disease.
Following his death, Carl’s partner, Sharon, 57, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help establish answers and support the family through an inquest.
Sharon has now spoken for the first time about the family’s devastating loss. It comes after an inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court in September concluded Carl died of natural causes.
However, Assistant Coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Mr Clow, concluded that there had been “sufficient information available for a suitably experienced doctor to ascertain” that Carl was ”suffering from an infection on or before 22 October 2021.” He added that “this would have prompted investigations which would have identified the abscess earlier than 26 October” and “would have improved” Carl’s chances of survival.
The coroner also issued a Prevention of Future Deaths Report raising concerns over the processes at Linden Lodge, which included the “majority” of medical care being carried out by “inexperienced junior doctors with no easy access to input from more experienced doctors.”
In a subsequent written response, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust agreed a series of actions are to be implemented to address the matters of concern. Namely, there will be access to input from more experienced doctors, and reviews of blood test results will be carried out in a timely manner.
Expert Opinion“Carl’s loved ones are understandably struggling to come to terms with losing him so suddenly, particularly Sharon who has found the past year and a half incredibly difficult.
“Since then, the family have had a number of unanswered questions surrounding Carl’s death,
“While the inquest has been tough to relive everything that happened, we’re pleased to have at least been able to provide them with the answers they deserve.
“Sadly, the inquest highlighted worrying issues in care provided to Carl before he died. While nothing can make up for what Sharon and the rest of the Carl’s loved ones have been through, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety. Medical staff need to be supported, particularly by more senior doctors, to make the best decisions possible and we welcome the Trust’s decision to implement changes following the Prevention of Future Deaths Report.
“While an incredibly dangerous and potentially fatal condition, sepsis can be beaten with early diagnosis and treatment. It’s therefore also important to make others aware of the signs to look out for.
“We’ll continue to support Sharon and her family at this distressing time.” Tania Harrison, Medical Negligence Lawyer
Sharon said: “Carl was a kind-hearted and strong family man, and it’s almost impossible to find the words to express how much we all miss him.
“He had such a big personality and would have done anything for those he loved. He and I were planning to travel in the future and get married in New York. I’m devastated to know that will never happen now. He’s also never going to meet his new grandson, which is really upsetting for the whole family.
“In the year and half since we lost Carl, some days the pain feels as raw as it was back then. Trying to come to terms with it has been made all the more difficult by the many concerns we’ve had over his death.
“The inquest and having to hear what he went through was incredibly tough but I recognise that it was something we needed to do to honour his memory.
“I would give anything to have Carl back by my side, but I know that’s not possible. All we can hope for now is that his death wasn’t in vain and improvements are made in diagnosing and treating sepsis to help prevent others suffering like we have.”