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Posted 3 April 2019
by Stuart Bramley

Father dies of sepsis after not being given the antibiotics he needed


51 year old Simon Smith was admitted to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley with excruciating leg pain in July last year. He unfortunately passed away from sepsis after 5 days of not being given any antibiotics. He was displaying key signs of sepsis but according to an assessment of his care, staff failed to give him antibiotics on more than one occasion.

With reference to the Daily Mail Online article, Infection law specialist Stuart Bramley writes –

“In most of the sepsis claims I deal with, the hospital concerned tries to argue that the signs of infection were too subtle and so it was forgivable that the real problem was missed for so long. Simon Smith’s tragic story seems no different. It is extraordinary however that the staff clearly realised the high heart rate and temperature may well have arisen from sepsis – there would be no other reason to recommend antibiotics if he deteriorated, but it is simply inconceivable that he could have gone into multi-organ failure 5 days later without that involving an obvious deterioration.

It is to the hospital’s credit that they recognise the errors (although the CQC’s criticisms perhaps gave them no alternative) and I hope they genuinely do learn from Mr Smith’s death, rather than simply saying that because of the Press interest. Sepsis remains a silent killer and really should be a key focus of the NHS”

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About the author

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor with over 25 years' experience of medical claims and inquests