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Posted on 25th October 2017

Welsh Hospital Failed To Spot Signs Of Sepsis

A 79 year old man was declared fit for discharge but died a few days later because of sepsis. In a catalogue of serious errors, two consultants failed to record their examination findings and final checks were not carried out.

The daughter of the 79 year old man’s daughter made complaints to The Public Services Ombudsman which included medics being slow to respond to her dad’s worsening condition. The man suffered cardiac arrest and died as a result.

Whilst in hospital, the man was examined by two consultants but neither recorded their opinions in the medical records. Later a junior doctor said that the patient was ok for discharge but nurses did not follow procedures and conduct a pre discharge review. When his family arrived at the hospital the man was complaining of feeling unwell.

After being seen by junior doctors again, their opinion was that the patient was suffering from sepsis most probably caused by an internal obstruction. Following testing the man told medics he was feeling better so he was left at the hospital to rest whilst his family returned home.

A short time after, the hospital contacted the patient’s family to say that the man had gone into cardiac arrest and died.

In a response to the complaints sent by The Public Service Ombudsman, the health board’s clinical director admitted shortcomings in the care given to the patient but concluded that the outcome would have been the same.

The ombudsman however did not accept the findings of the clinical director and upheld the complaints made. The ombudsman commented “I consider these failings to be serious and, taken together, create uncertainty around the question of whether the death of the patient was inevitable”


Sepsis is a very serious condition which can quickly escalate to become life threatening however with the correct treatment given at a timely point, serious complications can be avoided.

For more information on how to spot the signs of sepsis, see our published article

If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed and that misdiagnosis has caused in injury or surgical intervention to be required, you may have grounds to make a claim for compensation.

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.