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Mother-of-five died from sepsis weeks after having an abortion despite contacting GP

Posted on 03rd November 2021 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor
Mother-of-five died from sepsis weeks after having an abortion despite contacting GP

An inquest heard that Ms Dunn had told her doctors’ surgery of various symptoms from nausea to vaginal bleeding following having an abortion weeks earlier.

She was booked in for a telephone conversation the next day but on the morning of the call she was rushed into hospital where the following day the 31 year old passed away.

Despite reaching out several times to her local GP, failings in her care were evident. Blood tests didn’t show any infection so she was told going to hospital for treatment was not necessary. She called her GP again reporting nausea, sweating, and abdominal pain, this was when she was booked in for a telephone appointment.

The inquest heard Ms Dunn died of Sepsis at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on April 11th 2020, this was almost four weeks after undergoing a termination. The doctor that had seen her said she was not complaining of any pains or symptoms of infection at the time, he said if he felt she was unwell he might have referred her to hospital.

Following an inspection in May, the surgery was closed following the damning 'inadequate' rating from Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report found evidence the practice failed in their care and treatment standards of patients.


What can we learn?

Medical claims and inquest specialist Stuart Bramley writes,"Any death of a young person is tragic but even more so when it was so avoidable.  From the evidence given so far to the inquest into Sarah Dunn's death, it seems extraordinary that no alarm bells were ringing. The symptoms she reported, coming so soon after an invasive medical procedure, should have indicated sepsis unless proven otherwise.What is even more troubling is that, if the Mail's account is correct, the GP concerned seems not to have learned from the experience. From my own background in medical negligence claims and inquests, one small silver lining is that the experience can often make the clinicians more careful and safer.

I do hope that the Coroner makes all the appropriate recommendations to help prevent any repetition of this tragedy".


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