Yorkshire mother-of-two died in hospital from undiagnosed sepsis following miscarriage

Yorkshire mother-of-two died in hospital from undiagnosed sepsis following miscarriage

Lorette Divers inquest: Yorkshire mother-of-two died in hospital from undiagnosed sepsis following miscarriage

Yorkshire Post

An inquest is underway into the death of a young Yorkshire mother-of-two who died of undiagnosed sepsis following a miscarriage.

Lorette Divers died on November 20, 2020, two days after she was told her child had miscarried in the womb four weeks earlier.

She arrived at hospital by ambulance at 8.30am on November 18 after suffering from pain, vomiting and a high temperature the night before.

The 30-year-old was admitted to Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s Jessop Wing, where she was tragically told her 18-week pregnancy had miscarried a month earlier.

At Lorette’s inquest, which opened on Wednesday at Sheffield Coroner’s Court, coroner Tanyka Rawden heard the young woman was not assessed by a doctor despite her condition.

William Chapman, a solicitor representing Lorette’s family, including her mum Maxine Nicholson and partner Jahred Smith, urged the coroner to rule there had been medical negligence in her death.

He said: “She did not receive any emergency treatment. She wasn’t seen by a doctor. She did not receive antibiotics. She did not receive surgery.

"Nobody suspected what they ought to have suspected. This was a failure by the state in its obligation to protect life.”

Lorette’s vomiting was reportedly viewed as a result of pain brought on by her miscarriage.

She was noted to have a high temperature, which is typically seen in miscarriages. However, soon after arrival, Lorette tested positive for Covid-19.

Dr Karen Selby, consultant gynaecologist, was asked if it was possible staff on the ward could have focused on this Covid-19 infection as a cause for her high temperature rather than consider sepsis.

Dr Selby said: “I suspect the Covid did distract staff at that point.”

At this stage, Lorette opted to abort her pregnancy by surgery at a later date, but afterwards decided to use medical management and attended the gynaecology ward at Royal Hallamshire on November 20.

Several signs were missed here that Lorette was at this point suffering from sepsis. Blood cultures were taken, but would not have come back for up to 48 hours.

On November 20, Lorette was placed in a room and was seen to be “comfortable and asking to be left alone to rest”.

However, Lorette later collapsed on the ward and the emergency cord was pulled. She was prepared for immediate surgery but sadly she died of heart failure shortly after on November 20.

A post-mortem later revealed Lorette was infected with clostridium perfringens, a common bacteria but one that a consultant gynaecologist noted was “rare, if not unheard of” in cases of sepsis in miscarriage without medical intervention such as Lorette’s.

In a letter read out in court by Lorette’s mother-in-law, her mum Maxine wrote: “From the second Lorette entered this world there was no stopping her.

"She knew exactly who she was – an independent, confident and fiercely loyal young woman who loved her family, especially her two boys. Her main focus in life was to create memories for her children.