Five-Figure Compensation after Young Girl Dies of Sepsis

Author:
Rebecca Brunton
Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
09/09/2020

A Medical Negligence Claim Case Study – Client Situation 

Marie Thomas, the mother of four-year-old Kessie, called for an ambulance on April 9th 2017 as her daughter had a high temperature, a heart rate of 178 bpm, and had suffered two seizures. Kessie was rushed to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, where she was seen by a Paediatrician. 

As Kessie had been born with a heart condition, Marie was particularly concerned about her symptoms, but after receiving a dose of Calpol and Ibuprofen to help bring her temperature down, Kessie was discharged in the early hours of April 10th.

Over the next 24 hours, Kessie’s condition didn’t improve, and so on April 11th, her mother took her back to hospital where, within 2 hours of arriving, Kessie suffered a cardiac arrest and lost consciousness. She was subsequently diagnosed with sepsis.  

Kessie was moved to Evelina Children’s Hospital to receive specialist care, but despite the best efforts of the medical staff, she died later the same day, having suffered severe brain damage. The cause of death was found to be sepsis and pneumonia.

How We Helped 

Kessie’s mother called our Medical Negligence Solicitors and explained what had happened during a free claims assessment. We took the case on under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is commonly known as a No Win, No Fee agreement. 

The case was dealt with by Medical Negligence Solicitor Rebecca Brunton, who helped guide the Thomas family through the Inquest process and instructed a medical expert to compile a report assessing the standard of care provided. 

During the Inquest, it was found that medical staff had failed to follow guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Our medical expert’s view was that had the clinical guidelines been followed, Kessie would have been admitted on April 9th for observation. Our case was that with such observation, sepsis would have been diagnosed and treated much sooner, and Kessie would have survived. 

Having obtained expert medical evidence backing up our client’s case, a Letter of Claim was sent to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, which admitted liability (fault) at an early stage. 

The Outcome 

Following the hospital’s admission of liability, negotiations took place and a five-figure compensation settlement was agreed.

Rebecca and her team also helped the Thomas family prepare a press release to help raise awareness about the dangers of sepsis, particularly in young children. In response, Darent Valley Hospital issued a public statement, acknowledging that they “did not get it right” with Kessie’s treatment. They also confirmed they had “instituted several actions since to improve awareness, identification and treatment of sepsis”.

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