A sickle cell disease patient who rang 999 from his hospital bed after being refused oxygen would not have died if medics had recognised his symptoms and offered a blood transfusion sooner, a coroner has said.
Evan Nathan Smith, 21, died at North Middlesex Hospital (Picture: PA/SWNS)

A sickle cell disease patient who rang 999 from his hospital bed after being refused oxygen would not have died if medics had recognised his symptoms and offered a blood transfusion sooner, a coroner has said.

Evan Nathan Smith, 21, died at North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London, in April 2019 after developing sepsis following a procedure to remove a gallbladder stent a week earlier.

The sepsis precipitated a sickle cell crisis in Mr Smith, where a change in red cells can restrict the flow of blood to an organ.

Although the disease is common among people of African or Caribbean heritage, the Barnet inquest heard that nursing staff did not have specific training in managing the condition.

Mr Smith, a football stats analyst, was told he did not need oxygen because his blood saturation was high enough.

He rang the London Ambulance Service in the early hours of April 23, but after speaking with nurses the operator decided not to send paramedics.

Evan Nathan Smith. See SWNS story SWNN999. A football data analyst who died in hospital after dialling 999 from his temporary bed in a corridor could have been saved if doctors had started a blood transfusion sooner, an inquest heard. Evan Smith was admitted to North Middlesex University Hospital with jaundice on April 18, 2019 - around 24 hours after being discharged following a the removal of a stent. The 21-year-old had undergone an operation to remove the stent from his bile duct, which was installed following an earlier gaul stone removal. Doctors believe a stone, which could have caused an infection, could have been missed.
Evan Nathan Smith died in hospital after dialling 999 from his temporary bed in a corridor (Picture: SWNS)
Undated handout photo issued by Leigh Day solicitors of Evan Nathan Smith who died on April 25 2019 at North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London, after suffering from sepsis following a procedure to remove a gallbladder stent. A coroner has said that the 21 year old would not have died if medical staff had recognised his symptoms and offered a blood transfusion sooner. Issue date: Friday July 27, 2018. PA Photo. Smith while in sickle cell crisis rang 999 from his hospital bed after being refused oxygen. See PA story INQUEST Oxygen. Photo credit should read: Leigh Day solicitors/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Evan Nathan Smith died after suffering from sepsis (Picture: PA)

He was being held in a ‘lodger’ bed — a bed added to a ward for extra capacity — and did not have access to piped oxygen or a call bell.

A haematologist prescribed oxygen later that day but he did not receive a blood transfusion until late on April 24. He suffered a series of cardiac arrests and died hours later as a result of sickle cell crisis.

Coroner Dr Andrew Walker, who did not make a finding of neglect, said ‘there was a failure to appreciate the significance’ of Mr Smith’s symptoms by those caring for him at the time.

The hospital now has a dedicated ward for sickle cell patients.

Mr Smith’s parents, Charles and Betty, said: ‘The tragic way in which Evan died is something we will live with for the rest of our lives.’

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