Mum given paracetamol overdose as hospital treated her for pneumonia

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A mum admitted to hospital with sickness and pneumonia was reportedly given too much paracetamol during her stay.

Laura Higginson died two weeks later from multi-organ failure, sepsis and Gitleman’s syndrome – a rare genetic condition. The CPS has found the overdose did not contribute to her death.

However, her husband, Anthony Higginson, claims he was not informed that Laura, 30, was given too much paracetamol in hospital before her death. The 47-year-old had hoped the Crown Prosecution Service would charge staff at the hospital for giving her the wrong dosage.

The CPS did not bring charges against the NHS hospital or the staff, claiming the overdose did not contribute to her death, reports the Liverpool Echo. Anthony said his family are stuck on a “merry-go-round of blame” following her death more than five years ago. 

Anthony said: “We feel that we have been gaslighted. Justice is not fair, it’s unaffordable, unachievable, unaccountable and corrupt. What we have is a merry-go-round of blame and in the middle is us – the bereaved. I’m missing my wife, Laura’s parents are missing their daughter, and my children are missing their mum all because these organisations are pointing the finger at each other.

Laura, a trainee solicitor, died in hospital on April 19, 2017, after she is said to have been given a high paracetamol dose meant for a heavier woman during her treatment. The hospital previously admitted administering too much of the medication but denied it has caused or contributed to her death, according to reports.

Laura, from Widnes, Merseyside, weighed just 36kg when she was admitted to hospital on April 5, 2017. Due to her weight, she should only have been given around 500mg doses of paracetamol, it is claimed. However, she was given doses of a gram at a time over two days, documents show.

He claims Laura’s family were only made aware of the overdose after receiving a copy of the post-mortem report from her GP months after her death. Antony added: “The CPS not charging doesn’t surprise me – if they charged twelve people with manslaughter, no one would ever walk into a hospital again.

“If they hadn’t done that, she would be alive now.” 

A spokesperson for the CPS said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of Laura Higginson.

“Having carefully considered all the available evidence in the case, we concluded that no charges could be brought against the hospital trust. A further review by an independent lawyer, brought under the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme, has upheld this decision.

“We understand this is not the outcome the family were hoping for and have written to explain our decision in detail.”

A Whiston Hospital spokesperson said: “The Trust offers its sincere condolences to the family of the late Mrs Higginson. From the outset, the Trust cooperated fully with the investigation and subsequent review of the case.”

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