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Posted 21 November 2019
by Stuart Bramley

Inquest into sepsis death


Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported on the tragic death of a 49 year old woman after she contracted sepsis.

In February last year, Samantha Brousas died from sepsis having been transferred to intensive care less than 48 hours beforehand. After catching a cold at the start of the year, which then developed into a viral infection, an ambulance came for Samantha on 21 February where paramedics diagnosed sepsis. However, instead of receiving antibiotics, she was left in an ambulance for 3 hours, and even when eventually allowed into the hospital it was a further hour before she was given medication.

Stuart Bramley, infection specialist at Tozers comments:

“Every death of someone so young is a tragedy but even more so when the death is so avoidable. No doubt questions will be asked at the inquest about whether sepsis should have been identified earlier (the information given in the Daily Mail article isn’t detailed enough to give an indication about if there were substandard delays – sepsis can effectively mimic other, more commonplace infections) but what occurred next was extraordinary. If this account is correct, it is astonishing that once sepsis was diagnosed by paramedics, Samantha Brousas still had to wait in an ambulance for three hours without antibiotics. Even if the hospital genuinely had no bed for her, it beggars belief that she could not have waited elsewhere in the hospital.

I hope that the inquest will look at why it is being argued that no-one could have given antibiotics, the obvious and necessary first-line treatment for sepsis. It is not simply doctors who can prescribe medications – Advanced Nurse Practitioners and their paramedic equivalents can as well and I doubt that everyone qualified to give drugs was so busy for 4 hours after diagnosis that this quick and simple step could not have been taken to save a young woman’s life.

My sincere sympathies go out to the family”.

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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