A KINDERGARTEN worker died after developing acute autoimmune hepatitis and Covid-19 while awaiting a liver transplant, an inquest has learned.
Katie Horne died in April 2020 after first visiting the Princess Royal Hospital on Haywards Heath suffering from jaundice, dark urine, fatigue and convulsions.
The 21-year-old was later transferred to King’s College Hospital in London for a liver transplant but tested positive for Covid-19, which prevented her from receiving a transplant due to medical guidelines in place at the time.
Senior Coroner Andrew Harris, drawing a brief conclusion from natural causes, said the combination of liver failure, the impact of the pandemic on hospitals and Katie’s contraction of Covid-19 led to her death.
He said there was “no evidence” that any of the hospitals provided improper care, but raised concerns about the delay in getting the results and the involvement of a gastroenterologist in their treatment.
During an inquest at Inner London South Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, the court heard Katie, who had a history of autoimmune diseases in her family, faced a delay in receiving her blood test results to determine what type of hepatitis she had because of a “backlog”. she had ” in the lab as a result of the pandemic.
Counselor Tatyana Viner, who saw Katie with symptoms two days after she was first presented to the hospital on March 1, told the inquest that gastroenterologists were not on site when she first visited the hospital.
When asked if Ms Viner was following the lab results when Katie saw her on March 3, she said she assumed a young doctor would have done so.
When asked why she didn’t, she replied, “I’ve been busy.”
Katie returned to the hospital twice more before receiving her results and then met with gastroenterologist Dr. Nick Parnell after she went to the hospital for the first time.
When asked by the coroner why the gastroenterologist was not approached after saying one would have been on site, Dr. Parnell: “I don’t know why her advice wasn’t sought.”
He described Katie’s condition as “rare” and “aggressive”.
On March 18, Katie was admitted to the Princess Royal as an inpatient and began treatment on steroids on March 20.
The investigation found that when Dr. Parnell could have started treatment 10 days earlier than she did if she had been involved earlier.
Katie was transferred to King’s College Hospital on March 24 and treated by Dr. Varuna Aluvihare supervised.
But she tested positive for Covid-19 four days later – which was contracted before she was admitted – meaning she was no longer eligible for a transplant.
Katie was then transferred to intensive care on April 5 after she “deteriorated rapidly” and died on April 11.
Both Dr. Parnell and Dr. Aluvihare agreed earlier treatment would have had a “better outcome,” but they couldn’t say if she would have survived.
Mr Harris said he would be making a report to prevent future deaths as the Princess Royal had not conducted an internal inquiry into Katie’s death.
He told the Inquiry: “The Trust has made no attempt to find evidence for the past two years [as to why there was a delay with the results and her meeting a gastroenterologist]. This is not very reassuring for the family.
“None of us could step into the role of family and think about what it’s like to lose a child early in life. It’s unthinkable.
“Nothing will be able to heal her life from this devastating loss.”
Katie attended Downlands Community School in Hassocks and then Central Sussex College, Crawley.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20620266.sussex-nursery-worker-died-contracting-aggressive-hepatitis-covid—inquest/?ref=rss Sussex kindergarten teacher ‘died after contracting aggressive hepatitis and Covid’ – inquest