Coroner says hospital neglect contributed to sepsis death of model, 20, after appendix operation
- Chloe Rideout died following treatment at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon
- She contracted sepsis and a coroner concluded ‘neglect’ contributed to death
- Family raised ‘significant concerns following her admission’ on October 7, 2018
Hospital neglect contributed to the death of a model who contracted sepsis after a routine appendix operation, a coroner said today.
Chloe Rideout, 20, died following treatment at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, in October 2018.
An inquest in Truro, Cornwall, concluded that the young woman passed away ‘as a result of a known complication, sepsis, after a necessary surgical procedure, an appendectomy, which neglect contributed to.’
Senior Cornwall coroner Andrew Cox said her family had ‘significant concerns following her admission to Derriford Hospital’ on October 7.
Among the shortcomings highlighted by Mr Cox, he said that although her bloods were ordered, they were not checked or acted upon before Ms Rideout was discharged.
Had they been, he said medics would have been aware her inflammation was not under control as she was deteriorating clinically.
Chloe Rideout, 20, died following treatment at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, in October 2018
An inquest in Truro, Cornwall, concluded that the young woman passed away ‘as a result of a known complication, sepsis, after a necessary surgical procedure, an appendectomy, which neglect contributed to’
He added it was ‘manifestly inappropriate’ to discharge her on October 13 with one antibiotic drug. She should have been given three.
Professor Marc Winslet, who carried out an expert’s report on the case, branded these ‘gross failures’.
Sharon Rideout told the three-day hearing that ‘many people let her down’ and she had a number of concerns during her daughter’s hospital stay.
A post mortem concluded that Chloe died from multi-organ failure due to sepsis and a perforated appendix post-operatively.
The 20-year-old was described as a ‘lovely person, a fit and well young lady who gave so much to others’ and who loved to travel abroad.
Chloe had enjoyed a weekend staying with friends but later felt unwell with a ‘belly ache’ before she was taken to A&E at Derriford Hospital where she lay on the floor in agony, her mother said.
Five hours later she was admitted to a ward and the next day Chloe said she ‘did not feel safe in hospital’.
Senior Cornwall coroner Andrew Cox said her family had ‘significant concerns following her admission to Derriford Hospital’ on October 7
The inquest heard how she feared her drink over the weekend away may have been spiked but no tests were carried out to screen for any potential drugs.
Doctors, who the family said were blasé, told Chloe a week after she initially felt unwell that she may have appendicitis.
Mrs Rideout claimed she had concerns over delays in surgery and ‘sepsis was never mentioned during her treatment’.
The family said that by October 12 the ‘doctors just wanted to send her home as quickly as possible’.
Senior consultants told the inquest that it was ‘inappropriate’ for her to have been discharged and if she had remained in hospital she might have lived.
Consultant physician Dr Mervyn Davies said today: ‘If the sepsis had been effectively treated multiple organ failure would not have developed.
‘It’s likely, in my opinion, her death would have been prevented.’
The day after Chloe was discharged from Derriford Hospital she was still so unwell and in so much pain that she said ‘she felt like she was going to die’.
Her mother called the 111 our of doctors service – but a nurse went to their home, rather than a doctor, which Mrs Rideout did not realise at the time.
Mrs Rideout said ten minutes after the nurse left she was so concerned that she called 999 – but after three emergency calls it took an ambulance 90 minutes to arrive to take Chloe to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
Among the shortcomings highlighted by Mr Cox, he said that although her bloods were ordered, they were not checked or acted upon before Ms Rideout was discharged
She said Chloe felt unsafe there and claimed there was an ‘incompetent nurse who did not want to be doing her job’.
Chloe was operated on several times but her kidneys began failing and her brain became starved of oxygen and blood and she died on October 20.
Mother-of-two Mrs Rideout said: ‘At no point was sepsis mentioned. This was the cause of her not recovering from surgery, becoming critically ill and dying.’
The family said Chloe had been robbed of her life and say health professionals ‘let her down’ at various stages during her treatment.
Mrs Rideout told the coroner she wants to make sure any failings are properly investigated to stop this from happening to another family.
She said: ‘We as a family cannot believe so many professionals did not spot any signs of sepsis and we feel so many people have let Chloe down.
‘You worry about your children driving, going out at night and drinking alcohol, but not at any stage do you think you need to worry about your child having a routine operation in hospital.
‘Chloe’s death has affected so many lives. As parents we have been robbed of our daughter. It’s completely wrecked the lives of me, her dad and brother.
‘Chloe was a young lady with her life ajead of her and it’s been ripped away from her.’
The deputy medical director of the Plymouth Hospital Trust has apologised directly to the Rideout family.
Paul McArdle said: ‘On behalf of the Trust I want to say how sorry we are and for the family’s loss.
‘I would like to apologise unreservedly on behalf of the Trust for the opportunities that were missed which led to the lack of continuity of care which themselves might have resulted in a different outcome for Chloe had those opportunities not been missed.’
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