Bereaved Mother Receives Compensation after Hospital Admits Liability for Daughter’s Death

Posted By admin - 25th March 2014

A Leicestershire mother has been awarded five figure damages following the death of her Daughter at the Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2010. The hospital recently admitted  that the care provided fell ‘below an acceptable standard’ after 28 year old Rebecca Joy Tealby of Market Harborough passed away.  Rebecca had Maple Syrup Urine Disease and Pneumonia.

On the 9th March 2010 Rebecca Joy was admitted to the Leicester Royal Infirmary with sickness and diarrhoea after her whole family contracted a flu-like illness. Rebecca Joy suffered from Maple Syrup Urine Disease which meant her body could not process certain types of amino acids properly. Despite knowing this, doctors did not test Rebecca Joy’s amino acid levels on the day that she was admitted to hospital. The omission of this test and further delays in performing blood investigations meant that Rebecca Joy did not receive essential amino acid supplements as early as was needed.

Whilst in hospital, Rebecca Joy also contracted Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS), an illness where the skin becomes blistered and has the appearance of being scalded. Rebecca Joy’s mother was concerned when her daughter was discharged from hospital 19 days after being admitted. Rebecca was back at the LRI within a week.

During this second stint in hospital, Mrs Tealby’s anxieties were increased further when Rebecca Joy was given Flucloxacillin to treat the SSSS, as she has previously had an allergic reaction to the drug. 12 days after being admitted for the second time, Rebecca Joy passed away from septicaemia (sepsis, pneumonia) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease.

The claims that resulted in settlement were of there being a three day delay in the replacement of natural proteins, which consequentially led to Rebecca Joy’s feed being delayed by twelve hours; because of this her body became gradually weaker and she became more unwell, resulting in her death. The Trust accepted that they should have tested the amino acid levels on the day of Rebecca’s admission as well as also accepting that worsening Scalded Skin Syndrome would materially contribute to unnecessary pain and suffering.

Mehmooda Duke of Moosa-Duke Solicitors who represented Mrs Tealby said, “Any case where a fatality has occurred will always be particularly distressing. Whist compensation will never make up for the loss of a loved one, we hope that Rebecca Joy’s case will mean that lessons are learned in order to protect young people like her in the future.”

This case was also reported in the Leicester Mercury.