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Hospital fails to monitor diabetic’s blood sugar

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

36-year-old Claire Harry died in 2010 after hospital staff failed to monitor her blood sugar level, leading to her eventual death after she fell into a diabetic coma.  With a complicated medical history, including liver failure and a long battle with diabetes, Ms. Harry was admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital on the 27 of September with a severe chest infection.  Having received treatment from the hospital for over 12 years, the hospital’s failure resulted in her death.

Coroner Dr. Emma Carlyon heard that hospital staff did not recognise the fact that Ms. Harry’s blood sugar level had dropped severely.  On the 29th of September, Ms. Harry fell into a coma due to hypoglycaemia and suffered brain damage as a result.  After never regaining consciousness following the incident, Ms. Harry died of bronchial pneumonia on the 13th of October.

Checked every 6 hours instead of every 2 hours

The hearing found that the reason behind this failure was down to a change in Ms. Harry’s monitoring procedure.  Having previously been checked every two hours, her blood sugar level was only being checked on a six-hour interval at the time of the incident.  A witness at the coroner’s court argued that a specialist diabetes team should have reviewed Ms. Harry’s case.

Chief executive of The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Lezli Boswell, apologised to the family of Claire Harry and has made a total of eleven changes as a result of her death.  These alterations include additional staff on the Carnkie Ward; the provision of treatment boxes in every ward, and a programme of education for all nursing staff.

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