An inquest was held that a mother of five who died from sepsis just four weeks after an abortion had contacted her failing GP before she died.

Sarah Dunn, 31, reported to her doctors that she was experiencing nausea and sweating in the days prior to her April death.

She had earlier told her GP, Dr Sanjeev Mahraj at Blackpool’s Elizabeth Street Surgery that she was experiencing worsening vaginal blood pressure. The surgery has since closed after an ‘inadequate rating by watchdogs. 

Dr Maharaj performed standard blood tests, which did not reveal any signs of infection, and she said that she looked ‘fairly well.

Inquest: He stated that he did not consider it necessary to send her into hospital at the time.

She called back again reporting abdominal pain, nausea, sweating, and nausea. Dr Maharaj was able to book her in for a phone appointment.

An ambulance was already on its way to her home by the time she called the ambulance company. She died in hospital on the next day.

Blackpool Town Hall will hold an inquest into the death of her.

Sarah Dunn, 31, told Elizabeth Street Surgery (pictured) in Blackpool she was experiencing nausea, sweating, and abdominal pain in the days before her death in April last year

Sarah Dunn, 31, said to Elizabeth Street Surgery in Blackpool that she experienced nausea, sweating and abdominal pains in the days leading up to her April death.

The inquest revealed that Ms Dunn died from sepsis at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, just four weeks after she had been terminated.  

Ms. Dunn was notified by a nurse that her vaginal bleeding was getting worse and she booked an appointment at Elizabeth Street Surgery. 

An inquest revealed that Dr Maharaj said she looked ‘fairly healthy’ and didn’t show any signs of infection.  

Her temperature was normal. A standard blood test returned a normal result, but her heart rate was slightly elevated.

Dr Maharaj stated that the patient was not experiencing any symptoms or pains associated with infection. There was no evidence to suggest that the patient had an illness at that time. 

“If she felt unwell, or suffered from severe abdominal pain, I would have likely referred her to the hospital.”

The court heard that Dr Maharaj was at the Elizabeth Street Surgery at the time and was responsible for approximately 5,000 patients.

After receiving a damning ‘inadequate rating’ from Care Quality Commission (CQC), the surgery closed its doors last Wednesday. The inspection was conducted in May.

The report showed that the practice failed in its duty to ensure that patients received safe care and treatment. It also revealed that the leadership was poor.

An investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, (HSIB), also revealed a number of failures at the practice last year. 

Richard Baker, representing Miss Dunn’s family, stated that the court only had Dr Maharaj’s word about the possibility of an infected conversation with Miss Dunn. He had not made any notes and only recorded his concerns about possible blood loss.

He asked the doctor to explain why, if he was really concerned about Miss Dunn having an infection, he didn’t refer her for a hospital check which would have determined if this was the case.

Dr Maharaj stated that he did not believe it was necessary, based on Miss Dunn’s presentation. He also said: “At that time, in the pandemics, patients were not being transported to hospital unless there was an absolutely need.”

Mr Baker said, however, that he believed the GP practice was oversubscribed, understaffed, and poorly organized. 

“You don’t believe that Sarah’s death was due to Sarah being understaffed and oversubscribed?”

Dr Maharaj stated that she had no influence on her care.

Miss Dunn called again on April 9 to request a painkiller prescription. She complained about nausea, sweating, and pain in her abdomen. 

The pharmacist she spoke with assumed that her symptoms were due to a lack in painkillers and set up a phone appointment with Dr Maharaj on the next day.

She continued to deteriorate. By the time she spoke with her GP on the next morning, an ambulance was already on its way to her house. 

She was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. There, tests revealed high levels CRP in her blood. This is a sign that she was suffering from an infection. She died the next morning.

Dr Alison Armor, who performed the post-mortem, stated that Miss Dunn’s infection likely resulted from group A streptococcal organisms in her vagina during the termination which took place March 23.

She stated, “A streptococcal disease, when it becomes invasive and is severe, can be a devastating and fatal infection.” 

An inquest into her death is being held at Blackpool Town Hall (pictured). The inquest heard that Ms Dunn died of sepsis at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on April 11 2020, almost four weeks after undergoing a termination

Blackpool Town Hall will hold an inquest into her untimely death. The inquest heard that Ms Dunn died from sepsis at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, just four weeks after she had been terminated

It can cause general symptoms such as feeling unwell or high or low temperatures. It can be life-threatening when it becomes invasive.

“I have seen many cases of pregnant women who died from group A streptococcus after giving birth to their babies.”

Miss Dunn’s vaginal and womb were inflamed, along with a widespread rash. This indicated that her condition was consistent with medical termination.

Dr Armor stated, “It’s an uncommon, but well-known, complication associated pregnancy and can be contracted during childbirth or after childbirth, as well as being documented following termination of pregnancy.”

She stated that while medical abortion is not considered high-risk, it has been documented in medical records.

The inquest continues.