Young woman died in NHS hospital after being ‘left in corridor for 12 hours’, says devastated family
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A woman died in hospital after being treated in a corridor for 12 hours, her devastated family have said. Tamara Davis was admitted to hospital with a severe chest infection after coughing up blood at home.
The 31-year-old was initially treated in a cubicle at A&E before her bed was wheeled into the corridor while she was in the toilet with diarrhoea. Her sister Miya Davis, 24, said Tamara was left in the corridor for 12 hours before being admitted to intensive care where she was put on a ventilator.
But Tamara’s condition continued to deteriorate, and she died on January 13 due to sepsis and multiple organ failure. Miya said her sister’s death “could have been prevented” had she received proper care in A&E and blasted the hospital’s treatment of her.
Miya said: “I’ve never felt my heart break like I did when I was told my sister wouldn’t recover. Knowing that her death would have been prevented if she had received the care and attention she needed in A&E, makes that heartbreak all the more painful.
“It was so awful, especially when she was saying she’s struggling to breathe and coughing up so much blood and no one is helping or taking any notice.” Tamara, from Hollingdean in Brighton and Hove, was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital on January 10.
Her partner tried to call for an ambulance five times but eventually drove her to hospital. Miya said while her sister was in the corridor she asked a nurse to change a bedsheet as it had been soiled.
But said she was then handed a sheet and told she would have to do it herself. Miya said: “It felt like there were times when my sister was treated as a burden.
“But then also some of the nurses were running around so much and not once did I see them stop to take a breather. At one point whilst I was sitting with Tamara, the heart rate machine she was connected to briefly alerted that Tamara was tachycardic.
“Not a single nurse, doctor or porter even glanced into the cubicle to check if Tamara was in distress. I had to keep taking Tamara to and from the toilet as she had severe diarrhoea and even leaked a small bit through to the bed sheet.
“The nurse told me she could give me a sheet, I would have to change it and she would come and collect the dirty sheet after. So I changed the sheet and got Tamara back into bed.
“On one of many trips to the toilet, I saw Tamara’s bed with all her belongings being wheeled into the corridor, and I was informed that someone else needed to be observed with the machine in the cubicle. Tamara was told if she needed to go then she had to wave her hand at the nurses station and someone would be over to help her.
“I attempted to contact the hospital for an update several times throughout the day but was either hung up on or left with the phone ringing for a long time. Being in such a vulnerable state in the middle of a corridor where everyone can see you is horrible.”
The family is now in talks with a solicitor to take legal action against the hospital. Miya added: “Me and my family don’t care about getting any money. We just don’t want another family going through what we have had to go through, because the pain is indescribable.”
Dr Rob Haigh, chief medical officer at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust said: “We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Miss Davis, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
"We are sorry for their experience at our hospital, and if Miss Davis’ family wish to contact us directly to discuss the concerns they have we would welcome that opportunity."