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Sepsis: more support needed for junior doctors

By Clare Gooch

Sepsis is a serious infection, so serious that if not diagnosed and treated immediately, it can have devastating consequences.

Carl Wright had surgery in June 2021 but became ill at a hospital rehabilitation unit on 21 October 2021.

After a series of investigations, Carl was diagnosed with an abdominal abscess and sadly died four days later. An inquest took place where the coroner highlighted a lack of experience in his medical care.

It is reported that Mr Wright suffered many setbacks during and after his surgery in June 2021. He spent eight weeks in ITU and was then transferred to a hospital rehabilitation unit. On 14 October 2021, blood work indicated that Mr Wright had a serious infection but no further action was taken. Six days later Mr Wright began to vomit and his condition deteriorated. He was transferred to Queens Medical Centre where scans revealed an abdominal abscess and related sepsis. Sadly, Mr Wright did not respond to treatment and he died.

The coroner heard facts regarding Mr Wright’s medical care and found his cause of death to be an abscess and heart disease. However, the coroner issued a prevention of future deaths statement with his conclusion stating, that the rehabilitation unit was not suited to Mr Wright’s needs. He went on to say, that the medical care available to Mr Wright during his stay at the rehabilitation unit was limited, due to care being provided by an inexperienced junior doctor. He continued that there was however sufficient information available for a suitably experienced doctor to note that Mr Wright was suffering with an infection. This in turn would have improved Mr Wright’s chances of survival.

The rehabilitation hospital stated that they have implemented new procedures to ensure that medical care is delivered by more experienced doctors.

We support many families who have sadly suffered at the hands of hospital Trust failures, in particular failings to undertake investigations that lead to serious injuries and in some circumstances death. If you have been affected by any of the above, please contact us  so that we can begin to support you. 

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Clare has worked in Medical Negligence for over 10 years.  She’s a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team based in Switalskis’ London office.

Senior Associate Solicitor

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