Antibiotics 'would have prevented' death of Bristol girl on school trip

Bristol Grammar School
Bristol Grammar School.

A Bristol teenager who died from sepsis on a school trip "would not have suffered a cardiac arrest if she had been prescribed antibiotics", an inquest has heard.

Ana Uglow, 17, a student at Bristol Grammar School, collapsed in her hotel room in New York whilst on a trip in December 2019.

Her parents David and Natalia Uglow said that Ana had told teachers she thought she had a chest infection and asked to see a doctor two days before her death.

However Ana's teachers insisted to the inquest that she had only complained of feeling tired and having a blocked nose, and did not directly ask to see a doctor.

Avon Coroner's Court heard that Ana, a senior prefect who aspired to attend Oxford University, was on a school history trip to Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

She died at Mount Sinai West Hospital from Bronchopneumonia and sepsis complicating an influenza upper respiratory infection.

Ana was a student at Bristol Grammar School. Credit: Google maps.

Dr Chris Danbury, a consultant in intensive care medicine, said Ana was described as "a fit, healthy woman with no significant past medical history" before her death.

"Fit, young, healthy individuals generally compensate well right up to the point where they go into cardiac arrest," Dr Danbury said.

"My experience is if you can initiate some kind of treatment prior to a cardiac arrest, then the overwhelming majority of people will survive."

Ana, from Redland, was off school with cold-like symptoms for two days before the trip but felt better and set off to Washington from Bristol on 14 December.

On 16 December, Ana "had no energy to walk" and asked to stay at the hotel while the group went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Mrs Uglow said.

Giving evidence on Monday (10 May), teacher Rory Hambly said Ana had complained of feeling tired but she had only asked about potentially seeing a doctor if she deteriorated further.

Mr Hambly said that Ana was told she could see a doctor if she continued to feel worse but that after taking paracetamol she seemed "much brighter".

Dr Danbury continued: "A young person, 16 or 17, who is otherwise fit and healthy, if they suddenly say 'I would like to see a doctor' I think they should see a doctor.

"Time is absolutely of the essence when you get to that sort of situation.

"She had been in cardiac arrest for nine minutes before they paramedics arrived to assess her. The time of the assessment was 8.26am.

"Nine minutes of cardiac arrest due to septic shock is a very, very long time," he concluded.

The inquest continues.

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