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Jane, a young mother of two, visited her GP complaining of a sore throat and high temperature. Her GP prescribed Ibuprofen. She subsequently developed severe pains in her right knee and was taken to hospital later the same evening.
At hospital, she was seen by a senior house officer. Blood tests and X-rays were requested and she was also reviewed by the orthopaedic team for the pain in her knee. She was told to continue using the Ibuprofen that her GP had prescribed and was then discharged in the early hours of the following morning.
By the following morning, Jane was vomiting and continued to be in very severe pain. She went back to her GP and was then re-admitted to the same hospital. Jane was subsequently admitted to intensive care after a diagnosis of septic shock in the accident & emergency department.
Six days later, Jane developed organ failure and sadly died at the age of just 37 years old leaving two children aged 5 months and 21 months.
Jane’s bereaved husband, Roger, instructed Sarah Corser, an expert in clinical negligence claims, to investigate a case in his own right and also as the representative of his late wife's estate and their two young children.
Experts in emergency medicine, orthopaedics and microbiology stated that, with proper investigation of Jane’s signs and symptoms when she first went to hospital would have revealed she had an infection which could have been treated successfully with antibiotics. Had that been done, in all probability, Jane would have survived.
The hospital admitted that they had breached their duty of care to Jane and following considerable negotiation the case was finally settled successfully in the family’s favour.