Legionnaire’s disease death cause by hospital exposure

10.02.16 | |

Daniel Bennett instructed by Jan Markland of Veale Wasbrough Vizards, represented the family of Terence Brooks Deceased, at a 4 day inquest into his death at Avon Coroner's Court between 4th and 9th February 2016.

It was accepted by all that Mr Brooks had died on 23rd July 2015 from Legionnaire's disease whilst recovering from a 2nd round of chemotherapy on the William Budd ward of the Royal United Hospital, Bath. However, the hospital had always denied that it was the source of the infection, instead arguing that Mr Brooks must have been infected at a family home or in the general environment outside of the hospital.

After hearing 3 days of evidence, the jury concluded on the 4th day that Mr Brooks had been fatally infected with legionella bacteria contracted from the William Budd ward due to a malfunctioning water supply and distribution system which subsequently tested positive for Legionella. Evidence had shown that in fact over 20 water outlets, including showers and taps within intensive care sections of the ward, were infected with multiple strains of legionella bacteria.

Assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing also found that there were serious failures with the investigation that took place at the hospital. Such failings included the hospital staff misunderstanding the microbiological evidence such that they continued to deny the involvement of the hospital in the infection and death of Mr Brooks.

As such, the Coroner ordered the hospital under the directorship of the director of nursing to form a policy team to produce a policy for the investigation of similar deaths in future and he also referred the hospital to the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.


To read more please see here.

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