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Malnourishment misdiagnosis causes death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

The mother of Kayleigh Compton, who died from a brain injury as a result of undiagnosed malnourishment, has released photographs of her dying daughter in hospital. The 23-year-old had visited her GP following very rapid weight loss, before finally being admitted to hospital after dropping from ten stone to six stone in six months. It was heard that every time she attempted to eat, she was sick.

After doctors carried out a number of tests, they were unable to find the cause of her weight loss. An independent review found that a Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) had even been carried out, but had been done incorrectly.

Miss Compton’s mother, Angela, argued that it should have been obvious that her daughter was suffering with malnourishment after her weight dropped to below five stone and she lost her eyesight. She said if this had been diagnosed at the beginning, Kayleigh could have been on feeding drips, which would have saved her life.

An obvious contributory factor in her death

Due to the severity of Miss Compton’s weight loss, she was put into a medically induced coma, but soon died of a brain injury. The review, which was requested by Kayleigh’s grieving parents, found that her lack of food intake led to “very low” levels of selenium, which caused reduced immune function and muscle weakness. The review stated that low selenium was an obvious contributory factor in her death, which could have been easily prevented.

Peterborough City Hospital admitted to failings in her care, and offered its sincerest apologies to the family. Mrs Compton stated: “It isn’t enough to just have a letter saying sorry, we want a public apology for everything she went through. I want staff disciplined and action taken on the staff responsible.

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