Glasgow & West Scotland

Elizabeth Lowrie's death from flesh-bug avoidable

The death of a 61-year-old woman from a flesh-eating bug at Glasgow Royal Infirmary was avoidable, a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has found.

Elizabeth Lowrie was sent home on 8 March 2007, two days after being admitted suffering from stomach pains.

She was re-admitted on 10 March and died six days later from multi-organ failure from necrotising fasciitis.

The FAI found a CT scan, which would have helped identify her condition, had not been properly assessed.

The inquiry heard that Mrs Lowrie, from Shettleston, Glasgow, was given the scan after doctors had identified a number of possible causes for her pain.

The report from the scan concluded: "Impression. Inflammatory changes with a small amount of air at present in the right groin. No appendicitis was demonstrated."

In his ruling, Sheriff Andrew Cubie noted: "The consensus of the evidence was that a CT scan in those terms was sufficiently explicit for a consultant or a doctor at senior level to have recognised the risk to Mrs Lowrie of discharging her without further exploration, and she would have been subject to further testing and treatment.

"Such further treatment and testing would have been likely to have prevented her death."

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