Expert to be called in for investigation into sepsis death of young Blackpool mum after abortion

A panel of independent experts is likely to be called to determine whether the life of a young Blackpool mum could have been saved had she been treated sooner.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 12:30 pm
The inquest for Sarah Dunn will take place at Blackpool town hall in November

Mum-of-five Sarah Louise Dunn, 31, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on April 11 last year, nearly four weeks after she had an abortion.

She had approached her GP at Elizabeth Street Surgery more than once after falling ill following the termination.

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On April 9, she visited her doctor after her condition did not improve. The next day, she called the NHS on 111 and was taken by ambulance to the Vic’s A&E department later that day.

At around 2.15am the following day she died of sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, due to an infection.

At a pre-inquest review at Blackpool Town Hall on Friday, coroner Louise Rae said an independent expert was likely to be called in following a request from Richard Baker, representing Ms Dunn’s family.

A review of Ms Dunn’s care was carried out by a Blackpool Victoria Hospital doctor, who said that the young mum could not have been saved.

But Mr Baker said an independent expert should be called, as the doctor was a colleague of those involved in Ms Dunn’s care, and this may have influenced his opinion “consciously or unconsciously”.

He said: “It would be unsatisfactory for Sarah’s family for this to degrade into a debate about whether someone is telling the truth or is biased.”

A full investigation into Ms Dunn’s death, with evidence from a pathologist, doctors, nurses, and her GP and pharmacist, was arranged for the first week of November and is expected to last five days.