Health bosses apologise after tragic death of young Sunderland mum on Boxing Day
A Sunderland family hope that lessons will be learned after the tragic death of a much-loved mum on Boxing Day.
Christie Louise Henderson was just 29 when she died at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Boxing Day last year.
The much-loved mum from Waterford Green in Pennywell, had lived with Type 1 Diabetes since she was diagnosed aged 22.
She became unwell after a Christmas night out on December 23 and was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital at around 8pm on December 24.
Following blood tests doctors said she was suffering with severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening complication of Type 1 Diabetes caused by insulin deficiency.
Hospital staff followed their DKA protocol that saw them monitor the levels of Christie’s potassium.
But on December 26, Christie’s potassium reached dangerously low levels, she went into cardiac arrest and tragically died.
An inquest at Sunderland Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, October 29 found that there were ‘missed opportunities’ by hospital staff to counteract Christie’s falling potassium levels which led to her death.
Assistant Coroner Karin Welsh found the official cause of death was found to be 1.a. hypokalemia, 1b. complications of treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis and 1c. diabetes mellitus.
Christie’s family have said they hope that Sunderland Royal Hospital will learn lessons from the tragedy of her death.
In a statement the family said: “Christie was a loving mother, partner, daughter, sister and friend to many, who is greatly missed.
“As the conclusions reached by the Coroner confirm, Christie’s untimely death was avoidable.
“The family hopes that the lessons learned by the Sunderland Royal Hospital from her passing - going as they do to issues of system and training in the management and treatment of diabetes - are indeed all put into place.”
Now bosses at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have apologised to Christie’s family who said that aspects of Christie’s care fell ‘unacceptably short of their high standards.’
They have now taken action to prevent anything like this from happening again.