Today the government’s All-Party Report into sickle cell care, highlighting the need for improvement. The report was undertaken following the death of Evan Smith and others with a history of sickle cell disease.
Evan Smith, a 21 year old football data analyst, had a history of sickle cell disease and was recovering from sepsis after an operation in hospital. This is thought to have triggered a sickle cell crisis which required additional oxygen and a blood transfusion. At the inquest in April, his family were represented by Martin Forde QC instructed by Suzanne White and Firdous Ibrahim of Leigh Day. A haematology consultant gave their opinion that he might have survived if he had been given a blood transfusion sooner at the inquest. The coroner noted that the delay in being treated with a blood transfusion caused Mr. Smith’s death but did not return a verdict of neglect. Medical staff had provided basic care, albeit focusing on his gallbladder instead of understanding how to treat patients with sickle cell disease. Since Mr. Smith’s death the hospital has created a dedicated sickle cell ward and provided extra training for medical staff.