Mum-of-two died while on holiday after receiving ‘appalling care’ from hospital
A mum-of-two died from appendicitis after receiving “appalling care” while in hospital, it’s emerged.
The anonymous woman, named only as Sarah, is mum to an eight and 12-year-old, with Croydon University Hospital missing signs of appendicitis, according to a law firm.
She died around a week later after travelling to Jamaica for a holiday and her children are now being cared for by their grandparents who brought a case of clinical negligence against the hospital.
The health trust that runs the hospital has been forced to pay a six-figure sum to her parents, MyLondon reports.
Sarah was sent to the hospital on London Road by her GP after having stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Medics thought it could be appendicitis or a urinary tract infection.
On arrival at the hospital, she was sent to A&E for further investigation.
While there, she was diagnosed with having inflammation of the colon and put on antibiotics, with signs of infection and appendicitis missed, it’s claimed.
She was discharged after a few days despite blood tests showing she had a high white blood cell count, a sign of an infection.
A follow-up appointment and colonoscopy was then arranged for four weeks later to investigate the issue.
Despite still having stomach pain, Sarah was due to go to Jamaica on holiday and was signed off as fit to fly by her GP.
But on the flight, the pain got worse and she was rushed straight to a private clinic when she got there.
Hours later she was transferred to a local hospital where it was discovered her appendix had ruptured and she had developed severe septicaemia.
Although doctors started emergency surgery to remove the appendix, she sadly died.
A post-mortem in Jamaica deemed the cause of death to be septicaemia, peritonitis and a ruptured appendix.
Charlotte Cooper, clinical negligence solicitor at Leigh Day, said: “Nothing can bring back my clients’ daughter, who suffered appalling care at the hands of Croydon University Hospital.
“Opportunities were missed to diagnose appendicitis, which could have been easily treated and would have meant that she made a full recovery.
“As it stands, two young children have to grow up without their mother.
“It is hoped that lessons have been learned and procedures improved to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Leigh Day said the health trust admitted liability, stating that in light of the concerning blood test results whilst Sarah was in hospital, further tests should have been carried out which would have identified inflammation around the appendix.
A spokesperson from Croydon Health Services NHS Trust told MyLondon : “We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of the patient and offer our sincere apologies that our care did not meet the highest standards that we expect.
“The early diagnosis of appendicitis can be difficult due to overlapping or missing symptoms, however the trust has accepted full responsibility and has already taken immediate steps to prevent this from happening again.
“This includes increased review of radiology reports in and out of hours, and the introduction of an acute surgical review clinic where patients who have left our care can be monitored and assessed to ensure they are recovering.”