Delays in hospital care led to TikTok sepsis mum Sadie Kemp losing limbs to amputation

Sadie Kemp
Credit: Sadie Kemp/BPM Media
Sadie Kemp had all four limbs amputated after developing sepsis. Credit: Submitted.

A mother-of-two was left needing all four of her limbs amputated after doctors failed to spot she had sepsis quickly enough, an investigation has found.

Sadie Kemp, from Sawtry, near Peterborough, had to undergo "extensive amputation surgery" after falling ill on Christmas Day last year.

The 35-year-old went to A&E at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, in Cambridgeshire, twice with severe back pain before being admitted so she could be treated for kidney stones.

But despite showing signs of deterioration on Boxing Day evening, it took medics more than three hours to start following guidelines to treat suspected sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's immune system responds to an infection and starts to damage its own tissue and organs.

An investigation report by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust - which runs both Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough City Hospital, where Ms Kemp was later transferred - has found that delay triggered a series of events which ultimately led to her amputation surgeries.

It found "due to the sepsis not being recognised and treatment commenced sooner", Ms Kemp had to be stabilised before undergoing surgery for kidney stones.

"The lack of effective treatment" prior to surgery meant she required prolonged critical care treatment which saw drugs to regulate her heart pumped into her body.

These caused her to develop gangrene in her fingers and toes "which has resulted in extensive amputation surgery and subsequent permanent disability".

Sadie Kemp with her bandaged hands as she recovers from sepsis. Credit: Sadie Kemp/BPM Media

Ms Kemp, who spent more than 100 days in hospital, has now had all 10 fingers removed and recently had both feet amputated at her ankle.

She said she remained incredibly grateful to the critical care team who saved her life - but admitted it was difficult not to feel "angry and emotional" about the issues highlighted in the report.

"Even now after all these months, I'm still trying to get my head around what happened and why it did," she said.

"From what the doctors have told me, in some respects, I'm lucky that I survived what I did - but I'm also upset at what happened to me and how it will affect me."

The mother-of-two, who has been documenting her recovery on TikTok, said it was vital that lessons were learned and has instructed a legal team to assess her future medical needs resulting from the mistakes made.

But she said she also needed to focus on the future - and her two sons, 17-year-old Kenzie and two-year-old Hendrix.

"I want to be there for my kids, look after them and give them the best future I can. Being able to make the best possible recovery and having access to the best support is key to that," she said.

In a statement, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust said: "There is an ongoing investigation into the care of Sadie Kemp and we are aware of the concerns raised.

"At this stage it would be inappropriate for us to comment further whilst litigation is taking place.

"We wish Miss Kemp well as she continues her recovery."

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