Kent

Tunbridge Wells man died after sepsis symptoms 'missed'

Tim Mason Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Tim Mason died hours after doctors sent him home from Tunbridge Wells Hospital

A student died after doctors failed to spot he had sepsis and sent him home from hospital, an inquest has heard.

Tim Mason, 21, from Tunbridge Wells, had flu-like symptoms and told doctors he "felt like he was dying" but was discharged from Tunbridge Wells Hospital without further treatment.

The inquest was told he was rushed back to the A&E department but later died.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has accepted liability and admitted breaching a duty of care.

The inquest at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone was told staff missed "several" chances to test Mr Mason for sepsis on 16 March despite him displaying signs of the deadly infection.

The Sussex Downs College student had also developed the rare and life-threatening W strain of meningitis.

His mother Fiona Mason wept as she told the inquest they first took their son to hospital in the early hours of the morning after he began vomiting "more violently than we have ever seen".

He was treated for an "uncontrollably high" temperature but this did not desist.

'Falsely reassured'

She told how doctors said he had a virus and could be discharged.

When Mr Mason came back to A&E seven hours later - in so much pain he could not walk or sit up - he was made to wait to be seen, the hearing was told.

When he was assessed again by other doctors they found it "evident" he had septic shock and organ failure.

The inquest heard Mr Mason died after having a cardiac arrest while in an induced coma.

Junior doctor Max Bacon, who had been qualified for just over a year, said he discharged Mr Mason after seeking guidance from a senior colleague and being "falsely reassured" by blood test results.

Giving evidence, Dr Bacon said: "I wish I had put him through the sepsis protocol.

"I see from hindsight he should have had it," he added.

The hearing continues.