Woman dies after being sent home from hospital following cat bite

A woman with an infected cat bite died of sepsis after she was sent home from hospital without proper treatment.

Gabriele Kreichgauer had attended Newham General Hospital with the wound but a junior doctor who searched for “cat bite” was directed to cat scratch fever, which has a different treatment.

Despite the wound being infected, the 61-year-old was discharged without antibiotics and died two days after her visit on January 21 last year.

Newham General Hospital in east London where a junior doctor sent Ms Kreichgauer home and she died two days later. Source: Google Maps

Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the east London hospital, issued an apology following an inquest into her death.

"We are sorry for the failings in the care we gave to Ms Kreichgauer,” a spokesperson said.

Philip Barlow, assistant coroner for Inner South London, said when Ms Kreichgauer visited A&E on January 21 2018, the junior doctor used a paid-for internet database called Uptodate.

Ms Kreichgauer was bitten by a cat, the bite became infected. Source: Getty

He said when the doctor was directed to cat scratch fever he planned to prescribe the antibiotic azithromycin - but that was not given to her.

However, the coroner said the appropriate treatment for the cat bite on her hand was different and "even if she had been given antibiotics it is therefore likely that these would not have been effective".

Mr Barlow said the reason Ms Kreichgauer was discharged from hospital without any antibiotics "appears to have been that no-one did a final check on what treatment was considered and whether this had been given to her".

The 61-year-old woman went on to develop sepsis from the cat bite and died at the two days later. Source: Getty.

Ms Kreichgauer went on to develop sepsis and died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 23 January, the BBC reported.

Barts Health NHS Trust released the following statement.

"Having investigated the causes we have reviewed our processes and put systems in place to provide safe clinical care, as well as having contacted UpToDate - an approved medical resource database - to improve its indexing to encourage selection of the appropriate disorder."

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