The family of a woman who died of repeated paracetamol in an NHS hospital has called for action over her death amid allegations of an NHS cover-up.
Laura Higginson, a trainee attorney and mother of two children, died after seeking medical help for illness and pneumonia. She died two weeks later of multi-organ failure and sepsis.
Whiston Hospital in Merseyside has admitted an overdose but denied it caused his death and dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing.
But the expert report, seen by Granthshala, including a liver specialist, questions the trust’s account as to what happened, the quality of its postmortem and concluded that the mother-in-law, who weighed only 36 kg, suffered liver failure after consuming too much paracetamol in April 2017.
The overdose mistake was recognized by staff on the third day but Laura’s family was never told.
The Trust did not record the error as an incident and launched an investigation only 14 months later when Laura’s family expressed concern. Her husband, Anthony Higginson, says the latter’s investigation report “is littered with inaccuracies.”
They told Granthshala: “We only want justice; We don’t care about money. Laura died inexplicably and all of these institutions have been accused of ensuring safe care and accountability, which have completely failed and made Laura’s life essentially worthless and lost when she mattered. It didn’t matter to him. ,
The former soldier has spent thousands of pounds to force the system to take a fresh look at his wife’s death. A third coroner has now opened an investigation.
The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that it is considering bringing murder charges against the St. Helens and Nozzle Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs Whiston Hospital, after a file was passed by Merseyside Police.
The delay in making a decision about the case prompted Laura’s family to speak up.
Laura’s mother Denise told Granthshala She wanted justice. He said: “We are being stopped at every turn, which is not right. It’s hard to believe that no one is prepared to pursue the case, or even make a decision about where to go next.”
Laura’s case is not unique. An overdose of underweight adults in NHS hospital wards was flagged by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, a safety watchdog, in a report earlier this year.
Helen’s Trust has had six incidents in the past four years where patients should have received higher doses of paracetamol because of their low body weight.
Laura had a genetic disorder called Gitelman syndrome, and weighed only 36 kg when she was admitted to the hospital on 5 April 2017. Medical records show that she was given six 1-gram doses of paracetamol over two days. Because of her weight she should have only been given 540mg.
The hospital has accepted that Laura should have been given a third more paracetamol than her.
blood tests seen by Granthshala Show Laura was in liver failure until April 7, when a pharmacist requested a review.
Doctors discussed Laura’s condition with specialists in Birmingham who advised that Laura’s liver injury was the result of a number of factors, including toxic medication.
Laura’s condition worsened and she was admitted to intensive care and treated with anti-toxic medication, but by then it was too late and she never recovered.
Dr Charles Milson, clinical lead for liver disease at York Hospital, told a coroner after reviewing Laura’s case in 2020: “I have to conclude that the liver failure was caused by a paracetamol overdose … this woman had received a significant overdose of paracetamol and was it this overdose that led to liver failure and sepsis. The sepsis overwhelmed her, and died.”
He has admitted that Laura had sepsis and existing liver problems, but believes it was because of the paracetamol that he was alive without a liver.
Laura or her husband was never told of the medication error and there is no mention of this or antidote treatment in diaries kept by nurses in intensive care, despite Laura describing several other treatments and causes in the ICU. Is.
Mr. Higginson said: “I’m ex-Army, I visited Belfast and thought I had seen everything, but the way Laura died was horrifying. For a solid two days, they pretty much gave her IV Were pumping with paracetamol. It’s all in the notes.
“Why didn’t they tell him? Why didn’t they tell us? If there was a grave danger of death we could have brought the children to see him. They robbed his inheritance.”
He believes that the hospital had no intention of telling Laura how ill she was: “When they told me that Laura was dying I had to wake my children up at 11.30 and they had to say goodbye to their mother.” Had to be taken to the hospital to say. I remember Evie was in bed and she stroked Laura’s hand on her face. Stephen was yelling at the nurses ‘can’t you do anything’ and he was nine.
“Nothing prepares you for this.”
Mr Higginson only became aware of the paracetamol overdose when a copy of the post-mortem report was given to him by his GP months after Laura’s death.
‘I replayed every minute of him…
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /