A DAD-of-two died of sepsis after doctors failed to give him antibiotics for FIVE days despite showing the classic symptoms.
Simon Smith was admitted to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, with an excruciating pain in his leg in July last year.
But staff failed to give the 51-year-old the drugs on seven separate occasions, according to a damning report seen by the Daily Mail.
Mr Smith had a high temperature and raised heart rate – all typical signs of sepsis – when he was admitted.
Notes made on his first night in hospital indicate that staff administered pain killers and said he should be given antibiotics if his condition deteriorated.
But he wasn’t given the drugs for another five days when he went into multi-organ failure, the internal review into his treatment states.
Mr Smith spent three months in intensive care before he was discharged from the hospital, where his wife Hayley works as a data collector.
A fortnight later he as readmitted, having not fully recovered, and tragically died on November 1.
His widow, 47, told the newspaper: “I have lost everything. He was my best friend and my husband for 25 years.
“All they gave him for five days was painkillers – he was in the worst pain he had ever felt, his temperature was spiking.”
I have lost everything. He was my best friend and my husband for 25 years
Mr Smith was diagnosed with osteomyelitis – an infection in the bone of his leg, which triggered sepsis and attacked his vital organs.
The case report revealed a series of failures in Mr Smith’s care, including a lack of communication, poor record keeping and a failure to act on his deteriorating condition.
It found “there were seven missed opportunities to commence antibiotics” from his admission on July 27 until he suffered multi-organ failure on August 2.
The Dudley Group NHS Trust has faced repeated criticism over how it’s dealt with sepsis cases.
What are the signs of sepsis you should never ignore?
If you, a loved one, or in the case of medical professionals their patient, feels “severely sick”, doesn’t appear to be themselves and shows any of the following symptoms, sepsis should be suspected:
- loss of appetite
- fever and chills
- difficult or rapid breathing
- rapid heart rate
- low blood pressure
- low urine output
If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection – pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound – sepsis is a likely cause.
It commissioned an investigation of 229 deaths after Health Minister Caroline Dinenage blasted the doctors’ “frankly unacceptable” attitude.
Diane Wake of Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said: “I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Simon Smith’s family.”
She said a review of Mr Smith’s care “highlighted significant areas of learning”.
The number of sepsis deaths at Russells Hall has fallen in the four years to December 2018, she added.
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