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Man dies from sepsis hours after attending his GP surgery

View profile for Carla Duprey
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The Manchester Evening News has covered an inquest of a man (Paul Hardy) who died from sepsis ten hours after attending his GP surgery.

Paul had fallen ill in February 2016 with cold-like symptoms. He attended his GP surgery on 17th February and was diagnosed with a viral infection and told to take over the counter medication and rest. However, he deteriorated over the weekend and began suffering from a high temperature, a chesty cough, aching, vomiting and diarrhoea. Paul therefore returned to his GP surgery on 20th February and, after an examination, was diagnosed with a chest infection. He was prescribed antibiotics and referred for a chest x-ray.

Paul went home to rest, but later that evening his wife found that he had stopped breathing. She started CPR and telephoned for an ambulance, but Paul was later pronounced dead. 

The cause of death was sepsis due to streptococcus pneumonia leading to an abscess forming on Paul’s lung. This abscess had caused his lung to partly collapse.

At the inquest the coroner confirmed that Paul’s death was as a result of natural causes and stated, “My reading of the situation is that, at that time, he didn’t have the abscess formation to the extent it was later, he didn’t have the collapsed lung. That must have occurred afterwards…He was still sitting up and eating, albeit supported, at 6pm…He went to sleep and a very significant event occurred which took his life. I don’t think it is right to criticise anyone for what happened.”

This sad story demonstrates how quickly sepsis can occur and what devastating effects it can have. People are now more aware of the signs and symptoms to look for, through the hard work of charities such as The UK Sepsis Trust, but this story re-iterates how important it is to take these signs seriously and act quickly. 

Our expert clinical negligence solicitors act for people who have suffered clinical negligence and misdiagnosis - to speak to a member of our team call us on 01616 966 229.

For information on spotting the symptoms of sepsis please visit The UK Sepsis Trust