Simon Connolly in high profile inquest proceedingsPark Square Barristers
Simon Connolly was instructed to represent the interests of an NHS Trust in connection with the death of Alex Theodossiadis, an internationally renowned, 25-year-old Leeds-based DJ who tragically died due to complications associated with meningitis, in January 2020.
Alex began to suffer with flu-like symptoms early January before registering with a GP practice to seek medical attention. He was offered the earliest available routine appointment, a few weeks away. Recognising the worsening of his condition, Alex presented to a Walk-In-Centre on 25 January 2020, where he consulted with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who diagnosed a viral respiratory tract infection, having excluded meningitis as a differential.
Alex presented to A&E the very next day where meningitis was quickly diagnosed and appropriate treatment was instigated. Several hours passed before Alex was transferred to an acute medical ward located at a sister-hospital within the same Trust. Inadequacies in the transfer and hand-over process between the hospitals resulted in the receiving hospital not being made aware of Alex’s confusion and with that, the risk that he might require more immediate supervision to avoid a fall.
Shortly after he arrived on the ward, Alex suffered an unwitnessed fall when seemingly trying to get out of his bed. A second fall was witnessed by nursing staff who attended to assist, albeit not in sufficient time for the fall to have been prevented. Alex sustained a traumatic head injury which, unusual for an individual of his age was likely to have been associated with the prevailing meningitis infection, resulted in a subdural bleed. The bleed contributed to existing raised intra-cranial pressures and resulted in a fatal brain injury. Whilst Alex was thereafter supported in the ICU, active treatment was later withdrawn and he sadly died.
The Senior Coroner for West Yorkshire (Eastern District), Mr Kevin McLoughlin, concluded that the fall was a contributory factor in Alex’s death notwithstanding that the meningitis would likely have proven to be fatal in any event.
The Senior Coroner raised PFD concerns with the GP service and the Trust, having carefully and conscientiously considered all issues in a comprehensive and fully reasoned factual summary and narrative conclusion.
The case attracted significant media attention