NURSES at Dorset County Hospital failed to change the dressing of a man suffering from leg ulcers in the weeks leading up to his death, an inquest heard.
Holidaymaker David Renault was admitted to the Dorchester hospital in June last year before being transferred to Southampton General Hospital at the end of July.
The 68-year-old spent a total of two months in hospital but died from pneumonia relating to an infection from ulcers on his leg.
Mr Renault, of Sherwood Close, Bassett, Southampton, was initially rushed to Dorset County Hospital on June 27 and was overseen by Dr Adeel Ghaffar.
Simeon Edwards, matron of medicine at DCH, told the inquest he reviewed Mr Renault’s case notes, which revealed there was an occasion when nurses missed a scheduled time to change his dressing.
He said: “There’s evidence in the notes that dressings were not implemented in a timely way and that is with regret.
“There is evidence that has been addressed and apologies have been made.”
A request was made by Dr Ghaffar to transfer Mr Renault to Southampton General Hospital at the family’s preference.
Dr Patrick Sharp, who took over the care of Mr Renault the day after he was transferred, said: “We were presented with an individual who was septic and from individual diagnosis it was thought to be from the ulcers he had.
“His stay was from start to finish a gradual and steady decline in condition.”
He died on August 27 and a post-mortem carried out by pathologist Dr Sanjay Jogai revealed there were contributing factors to his death including pneumonia, sepsis, and cellulitis on his left leg.
Recording a narrative verdict, Southampton and New Forest coroner Keith Wiseman said he was surprised to hear of the issues surrounding the changing of Mr Renault’s dressing and said a man in his condition should have had the closest attention.
He said: “One has to look at the combination of death that Dr Jogai found when giving the cause of death to realise he was extremely vulnerable and one that could become extremely unwell from the circumstances.
“He was suffering from sepsis for the vast majority, if not all, his time in hospital, and when someone is particularly immobile, there would be significant difficulty in recovering from anything serious or significant.”
A SPOKESMAN for Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said after the inquest: “Regarding the inquest findings that Mr Renault’s leg dressings were not being applied at the right time, there was only one occasion where Mr Renault’s dressing was not changed on time.
“Whilst we would not, of course, have wished for this to occur as the high standard of patient care is our top priority, this does indicate that it was a one-off event rather than a systematic failure that caused infection.”