Hospital sent home bug victim: Man dies of flesh-eating microbe less than 12 hours after being turned away without antibiotics. Liz Hunt reports

A MAN infected with the 'flesh eating' microbe was sent home from hospital with a prescription for painkillers and died less than 12 hours later, an inquest was told yesterday.

The man's GP had telephoned the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, saying he believed his patient had an infected shoulder and was being sent in by ambulance. But the message was not passed on to the duty doctor, and the patient, Jim Anderson, 57, from Andover, Hampshire, was sent home without any antibiotics.

Carol Anderson, his widow, told the hearing in Winchester that her husband had gone to bed. 'Later I went to see him and pulled back the bed covers. I could see he was bleeding under the skin on his shoulder and it was moving up his neck.'

Mrs Anderson phoned Dr Hamilton, her GP, who told her to call an ambulance. Dr Hamilton told the inquest: 'It sounded extremely serious from her description and I thought he should go back to hospital immediately.'

Dr Hamilton said he had sent Mr Anderson to hospital earlier because he suspected he had developed an infection in his right shoulder, which was painful and swollen, after grazing his arm five days earlier in an accident.

But when Mr Anderson arrived at the hospital the duty doctor, Dr Malcolm Lawrence, had not been told of Dr Hamilton's message or his diagnosis. Dr Lawrence, who works in the orthopaedic department, examined Mr Anderson and decided he was probably suffering from a frozen shoulder.

Dr Lawrence told the inquest: 'I did not believe antibiotics were appropriate because I did not think there was an infection.' He was unable to explain to the coroner why he was not given details of Dr Hamilton's medical opinion.

The inquest was told that when Mr Anderson was admitted to hospital for the second time later that night, it was too late to save his life. Dr Matthew Dryden, a consultant microbiologist, said the infection had been caused by Streptococcus A, which can cause necrotising fasciitis, a type of gangrene in which skin, muscle and fat cells liquefy and die.

Dr David Hewett, assistant medical director at the hospital, said last night that Dr Lawrence had gone through the same medical procedures as he would have done had the message been passed on. There had been no sign of an infection when Mr Anderson was admitted.

The coroner, Grahame Short, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map