Inquest hears infections led to death of Dewsbury woman

Halifax road entrance to Dewsbury and District Hospital.
Halifax road entrance to Dewsbury and District Hospital.

A WOMAN died after a catheter she was given in hospital got infected, an inquest has heard.

Jill Green died in Dewsbury and District Hospital after she went in with an infected knee in March 2010.

Bradford Coroner’s Court was told that she died as a result of the infected catheter, as well as the knee infection.

During Ms Green’s inquest on Wednesday, Dr David Currie said: “I have to conclude it was not managed as well as it should have been.”

Ms Green, 34, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and a long-running problem with an infection in her right knee.

She was hospitalised on March 27, after two or three days of not eating or drinking. She was suffering chills and was confused, Dr Currie said.

Ms Green was fitted with a catheter on April 2 so she could be given fluids, but she was not transferred to intensive care for it to be closely monitored.

Dr Currie said: “A stay in a high dependency unit at that stage would have been helpful, but I don’t think it was critical to the outcome.”

Her condition improved and on April 17 she was seen by another doctor, who discussed amputating her infected leg – something she had refused on previous occasions.

Mr Currie said she accepted that the amputation was necessary and the possibility of having the procedure done the following week was discussed.

But her condition worsened and Ms Green, of Unity Court, Dewsbury, died on April 21.

Pathologist Dr David Gouldsbrough said Ms Green’s death was caused by multiple organ failure as a result of infections in her knee and the catheter.

He said Ms Green’s intravenous drug use would have affected her ability to fight infections.

Recording a narrative verdict yesterday, coroner Tim Ratcliffe said Ms Green had not been healthy enough to have a leg amputation at a time when it would have saved her or when she finally agreed to it.

He said lifestyle changes might have stopped her infection spreading and that her death was not suspicious.