Dudley dad died of sepsis after antibiotics delay
A father-of-two from Dudley died from sepsis after Russells Hall Hospital delayed administering antibiotics to treat the disease.
Simon Smith, 51, went to the hospital's A&E in July after suffering severe pain in his leg.
He had begun to show classic signs of sepsis – including high temperatures and a raised heart rate. But staff at the hospital failed to give him antibiotics to treat the conditions, until five days later when he went into multi-organ failure.
His widow Hayley said Simon had been in a great deal of pain and getting worse everyday, but staff only ever gave him painkillers. He was eventually diagnosed with osteomyelitis – an infection in the bone of his leg – which triggered sepsis.
Mr Smith spent 11 weeks in intensive care and Hayley said the family were "told to prepare for the worst" and weren't expecting him to pull through. But he was discharged in October days after the couple's 25th wedding anniversary – but weeks later he returned to hospital as he had not made a full recovery.
He died on November 1.
A 38-page report into his death revealed a string of failures. Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said their review had "highlighted significant areas of learning" and improvements were put in place.
Hayley, 47, said: "The root cause analysis into Simon's death showed a string of failures. It was really hard to read it – it's just disgusting.
"Simon was aware I was going to fight this as I told him before he died."
Mrs Smith, who works as a data collector at Russells Hall Hospital, added: "The whole family, we are all devastated. Simon was full of life and loved by all of his friends and family. We are all still so upset by his death.
"I am just so upset, I was with Simon for life. Everyday I wake up and he's not here – and I won't ever see him again.
"It hit our children hard, they were helping me as I was struggling, but they have been amazing.
"They took my husband, I have nothing left. I am at a loss – he is gone forever."
Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust which runs Russells Hall Hospital, said: "I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Simon Smith’s family on his tragic death while he was under our care.
"The circumstances of Mr Smith’s care were fully investigated during our own incident review process. This highlighted significant areas of learning, and improvements have been put in place.
"Our medical director has met with Simon’s family on a number of occasions during the investigation and he has personally shared the findings with them.
"We are expecting the issues Simon’s family raised with us to be fully and openly disclosed at the inquest. Unfortunately, as this is now with the coroner, I am unable to comment in any more detail and await the coroner’s conclusion."
A pre-inquest review hearing into Mr Smith's death will take place at Black Country Coroners Court on May 15, with a full inquest expected to take place later in the year.
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