Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sepsis victim Jessica Holbrook 'could have been saved'

Jessica Holbrook Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Jessica Holbrook, 23, was working for Yorkshire Ambulance Service when she died

An aspiring paramedic who died of sepsis would "probably" have survived if she had been given antibiotics sooner, an inquest has heard.

Jessica Holbrook, 23, died on 14 December 2017, just five days after complaining she had a cold.

She was not given antibiotics until her second visit to a nurse, despite being at a higher risk of infection due to being born without a pituitary gland.

Dr Alia Munir said she would "probably" have survived if treated sooner.

Miss Holbrook, from Barnsley, worked for Yorkshire Ambulance Service organising routine ambulance appointments but had hopes of becoming a paramedic.

The inquest heard she had been seen by nurse Patricia Cusworth at the i-Heart Barnsley Health Centre on 9 and 13 December.

Ms Cusworth said she was aware that Miss Holbrook had been born without a pituitary gland but did not know how it affected her ability to fight infection.

She told the inquest she "probably didn't give it the consideration required" on 9 December and in hindsight she should have given her a deferred prescription of antibiotics during the first examination.

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Dr Munir, a Endocrinology Consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the pituitary gland makes "essential hormones which keep us alive".

She said people born without the gland are at greater risk of respiratory infection and any infection tends to be more serious.

She told the inquest that if Miss Holbrook had been given antibiotics and an increased dose of steroids on 9 December it is "probable" she would have survived.

She went on to say that if she had been admitted to hospital for intravenous drugs on 13 December it was also "probable" she would have survived.

Miss Holbrook's grandmother told the inquest the day she died was "the hardest day of my life".

She said: "I put my trust and faith in the medical profession and can't help but feel they let her down."

The inquest continues.

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