Barnsley paramedic's death "could have been avoided"

Jessica Holbrook Credit: Family photo

A trainee paramedic died because she was given the wrong medication twice, an inquest has heard.

Jessica Holbrook, (23) from Barnsley, died from sepsis five days after she first began to feel unwell.

Nurse practitioner Patricia Cusworth told the hearing that she she should have done more to prevent the tragedy.

On both occasions, the nurse practitioner, working for the I-Heart out-of-hours service in Barnsley, treated Jessica as if she were a normal patient with a throat infection.

But the trainee paramedic was born without a pituitary gland. It left her prone to serious infections and even common colds had to be treated with antibiotics or steroids.

The inquest was told that Instead she was initially given a prescription for paracetamol and Ibuprofen.

Four days later, Mrs Cusworth diagnosed bacterial tonsillitis and prescribed a 10-day course of antibiotics. But Jessica Holbrook died the next day.

Jessica Holbrook died five days after becoming unwell Credit: Family photo

When asked if it was her error, a lack of correct training or information about sepsis, Mrs Cusworth replied: "I blame a combination of the service I-Heart and myself."

She is now the subject of an investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

A medical expert told the hearing, the ambulance worker should have been treated with antibiotics and the steroids she took daily should have been doubled straight away.

The inquest is expected to end on Friday.

David Hirst reports.