The family of a 35-year-old woman has received £65,000 in medical negligence compensation after their relative was given an excessive amount of sedation following an admittance to hospital.
In December 2009 the woman was admitted to hospital with acute pancreatitis. Initially, she was given a sedative so that she could be treated effectively as she had been suffering from symptoms of alcohol dependency and epilepsy. Despite the sedation, the staff at the hospital still found her condition difficult as she was agitated and would not cooperate.
Her physical condition worsened and she began to experience hypoxia (a condition where there is not enough oxygen circulating around the body). However, she was still not taken to intensive care where she would have been helped with a ventilator to breath. There were no senior medical staff to help her and her condition began to deteriorate. The staff on duty gave her another dose of the sedative which was three times above what it should have been. The patient went into cardiac arrest and died shortly afterwards.
An investigation into the death revealed that the woman had been given 55 mg of the sedative in a 10 and a half hour period whereas 15 mg is the required daily amount. The overuse of the sedatives caused her death and the investigation concluded that the staff should have been providing effective treatment for the woman.
A spokesperson for the hospital offered sincere condolences to the woman’s family and acknowledged that the circumstances leading up to her death have been particularly painful. She said: “We recognise the standard of care we provided at that time was not of the standard we would expect and again we apologise for this.
The family has since started a medical negligence claim which will take into consideration the pain and suffering the woman had to go through as well as damages. An inquest into the death is being undertaken; the findings of which have yet to be established.
If you would like to find out more about how to start a medical negligence claim then please contact our no win, no fee solicitors at Jefferies. Please call us on our national accident helpline number or complete one of our online claim forms and a member of our team will get back to you.
Published 11th February 2015.