Misdiagnosed Chest Infection results in death of 35-year-old Father Paul Hardy

A recent inquest has revealed that on 20th February last year, husband and father-of-one Paul Hardy from Biddulph, England, died. Although he did seek medical advice from his nurse to go ‘rest up’, just 10 hours after returning home he sadly passed away.

Mr Hardy was sent home after his nurse told him that he just had a chest infection, prescribed him over-the-counter antibiotics, and referred him to a hospital for an x-ray. However, throughout the weekend his symptoms worsened and more warning signs appeared, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, a chesty cough, aches and high temperature.

Mr Hardy’s wife Rachel and nine-year-old daughter Gabriella were informed after Mr Hardy’s post-mortem examination that, in fact, he had suffered from streptococcus pneumonia, otherwise known as ‘sepsis’ with an abscess formation on his lung. This abscess subsequently caused his lung to collapse.

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness, frequently and more commonly referred to as septicaemia or blood poisoning. The condition disrupts the immune system’s ability to fight off an infection, causing the blood pressure to drop dangerously, the heart to weaken, and septic shock to occur.

Sepsis makes the immune system go into severe overdrive as it tries its best to defend itself against infection, limiting the blood supply to vital organs. When the chemicals in the immune system are released into the bloodstream to fight off an infection, inflammation is then triggered throughout the whole body. It is easy for sepsis to result in severe organ failure, pneumonia, kidney infection, abdominal infection, bacteraemia, and in grave cases, death.

Mr Hardy’s 35-year old wife Rachel has said that she and daughter Gabriella have been utterly devastated by the death of much-loved husband and father Paul Hardy, which could have been prevented.

As reported by the Telegraph back in 2009, as many as 1 in 6 NHS patients are misdiagnosed in NHS hospitals and GP surgeries, like Mr Hardy was. In 2011, the average amount of medical negligence claims made reached its peak, with a total of 9,042 claims made. Since then, NHS Data Litigation Authority statistics estimate that the cost of medical negligence cases currently being dealt with could reach an extortionate total of around £56.1 billion.

As Mr Hardy’s situation clearly shows, misdiagnosis can be an incredibly upsetting experience for patients and their loved ones, especially if a patient has been turned or sent away repeatedly by their doctor when suffering a serious illness.

If medical negligence has impacted you or a loved one in any way, contact us today for professional advice on how we can help you.

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