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CARLY'S DAD: QUESTIONS STILL REMAIN UNANSWERED; 'Delay did not contribute to her death'.

Byline: JOE THOMAS ECHO Reporter joe_thomas18 @

THE heartbroken dad of a Wirral hairdresser who died after going into premature labour believes questions remain "unanswered" following an inquest into her death.

Assistant coroner David Lewis recorded a narrative verdict into the death of Carly Harper, suggesting her response to treatment for the infection that led to her death was so unusual it was "beyond the experience" of senior medical staff.

In May 2012 Carly, of Orrysdale Road, West Kirby, was expecting a baby with her boyfriend Alex Dearden when she developed severe sepsis Download our new mobile app NOW!

and the decision was taken to deliver the baby at Arrowe Park hospital. It resulted in a miscarriage and Carly was taken to intensive care, but died the next morning.

At the end of a two-day inquest, Mr Lewis said Carly's death on May 20 was a result of multiple organ failure caused by sepsis due to chorioamnionitis - an inflammation of the fetal membrane.

Recording his verdict he said he was satisfied a delay in prioritising her care the day before she died and a delay in senior clinicians becoming involved in her treatment - both highlighted as areas to be improved on in a serious incident review carried out by the hospital - did not contribute to the 26-year-old's death.

MOBILE FREE He said: "Despite the timely treatment and use of suitable antibiotics and subsequent delivery of the fetus, Carly did not respond as expected to the treatment she received... she appears to have reacted to the infection in a way which was at least unusual and beyond the experience of even the very experienced clinicians... This seems to me to be a case where Carly is one of those unusual cases that has succumbed to an underlying risk."

Mr Lewis also said that while time may have been lost between 2pm and 4pm on May 19, after which Ms Harper's mum had raised concerns of her dramatic deterioration, it was not clear that delay made any difference in her fight for survival. Carly's parents have claimed Arrowe Park was negligent, saying there was a failure to recognise, manage and treat the sepsis that led to her death. Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust accepts there were clear lessons to be learnt from her care, though it does not accept their failings contributed to Carly's death.

Speaking after the inquest her dad, Robert Harper, said: "We are extremely disappointed with the sad loss of our daughter and I still feel that questions remain unanswered and that things could have been expedited quicker and more thoroughly. We are now two and a half years down the road where we have had to wait for the verdict we were expecting. The coroner gave a very balanced view which I thank him for and we will try and move on as a family.

"No verdict will ever replace what we have lost and that's something we will have to live with for the rest of our lives."

After the inquest concluded, a spokesman offered his condolences to the Harper family and said: "Our investigations concluded that, whilst it cannot be said that Carly's death could have been prevented, there were clear lessons to be learnt from her care.

"We have reached a financial settlement with the family in recognition of this and have made a number of changes to Trust practice and procedures ."
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 7, 2014
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