The Deceased suffered bronchiectasis for approximately eight years. From time to time breathlessness, fatigue and coughing bouts would flare up.
In 2007, having suffered one such episode, family became concerned about deteriorating symptoms. The out of hours GP was called and a paramedic was later sent to undertake an examination to check observations. The vital signs recorded severe hypoxia ( O2 SATS – 67%), tachycardia of 140 and hypertension of 98 over 50, febrile 37.4 with consolidation of the right lower lobe.
The emergency care practitioner contacted the out of hours GP by telephone, to be told that th “obs” were satisfactory and there was no need for hospital admission.The Deceased continued to deteriorate and sadly passed away at home the following morning. Cause of death was confirmed to be bronchopneumonia and bronchiectasis.
Proceedings were issued on a number of allegations, including the failure by the paramedic/GP to recognise the significance of the oxygen levels and the fact that septic shock had onset with respiratory failure, warranting emergency admission for HDU treatment. The case settled before trial.