‘I had sepsis and hospital didn’t say’
AMOTHER contracted the potentially deadly condition sepsis during the birth of her baby boy – and only found out later by reading her own hospital notes.
Lydia Powell, 22, was induced at 39 weeks pregnant and started to display signs that something was wrong.
Her white cell count was raised, along with protein levels from her liver, but the hospital decided she did not have an infection.
Ms Powell was finally treated for sepsis more than 12 hours after her blood test results came in at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
But she did not find out she had suffered from sepsis until she was discharged from hospital and read her own notes.
Ms Powell, proud mother to baby Henry, said: “I’m angry that I only found out I had sepsis after I went home and started reading through my discharge notes. I feel that I should have been told about sepsis and why I was receiving the treatment I did.
“My labour was particularly traumatic. I was already an anxious person, and while I try not to think about it, what happened in hospital and the thoughts of what might have happened to Henry or myself has caused more anxiety.
“While in a way I feel lucky, the impact that the condition has had on me cannot be overstated.”
Ms Powell suffered an acute kidney injury during her labour but little Henry was born healthy on June 17 last year. They were discharged two days later.
An internal investigation was carried out after the new mum instructed
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board admitted failings in Ms Powell’s care. It acknowledged there was a delay in implementing a sepsis pathway which resulted in a 12-hour delay in administering the correct antibiotics.
The board found that it was likely Ms Powell would not have suffered her acute kidney injury if she was given the correct treatment earlier.
Ms Powell said: “I know I’m lucky as others with sepsis have much worse outcomes than me. However, the last year has been incredibly difficult.”
Shay Williams, of Irwin Mitchell, said: “What should have been such a joyous occasion for Lydia has been overshadowed by the events that happened. To some extent Lydia is fortunate that delays in diagnosing and treating her sepsis didn’t have far worse-reaching consequences for her or Henry.
“For her only to discover she had sepsis after she left hospital is also worrying.
“While we welcome the health board’s subsequent admission and apology we hope that lessons are also learned from Lydia’s care.”
A spokesman from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “This matter has been fully investigated by the health board and its findings have been shared with Ms Powell. We have apologised for the failings.
“Timely and effective sepsis care remains a priority for the health board and is subject to ongoing monitoring.”