Woman died from hip replacement complications

Burnley Coroner's Court
Burnley Coroner's Court

A Padiham woman died in hospital from sepsis, two months after having a hip replacement operation.

Miss Julie Christie (58), described as “happy, wonderful and lovely” by her family, died in the Royal Preston Hospital on December 18th where she had been having skin grafts.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard how Miss Christie, who had mental health issues, suffered from significant ill health including diabetes, obesity, liver and bladder problems.

Pathologist Dr Richard Prescott, who carried out the post-mortem, said that Miss Christie had died from septicaemia due to bronchopneumonia and acute cystitis. Contributing factors were the hip replacement surgery and hepatitis.

The decision for Miss Christie to undergo hip replacement surgery, carried out successfully at Burnley General Hospital on October 3rd, 2016, was made because she had been in severe pain from osteoarthritis according to consultant surgeon Mr Rajesh Sarin.

Mr Sarin told the hearing that before surgery Miss Christie had a deformity of the hip and that she couldn’t sleep or walk. Surgery was a risk but the hope was that it would improve her day to day life.

However, following the operation, Miss Christie developed an infection and was transferred to the intensive care unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Dr Peter McDermott, who cared for her in ICU, said: “It was very difficult to ascertain the source of the infection. However, diabetes puts someone at higher risk of infection.”

Miss Christie, who also had a severe skin rash, which had led to the cancellation of the hip replacement surgery at an earlier date, was transferred to the Royal Preston Hospital.

Plastic surgeon Mr Srinivasin said that skin grafts were necessary in order to ensure the hip replacement was a success.

The inquest heard that Miss Christie did not receive antibiotics within the NICE guidelines of an hour in high risk cases.

Dr Paul Dean, who carried out a review of Miss Christie’s care, said that “risk is an incredibly difficult concept.”

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of misadventure.