Doctors contributed to the death of a journalist from multiple organ failure because they failed to recognise the seriousness of her condition, a coroner ruled yesterday.
Penny Campbell, an associate editor at Time magazine who was born in Warwickshire, died on Easter Tuesday in 2005 from organ failure caused by septicaemia following an injection she had for haemorrhoids.
The mother of one, who lived in Islington, north London, had six telephone consultations and two face-to-face appointments with doctors working for the out-of-hours GP service Camidoc in the four days before her death.
They diagnosed her with a range of conditions including flu, a viral infection, food poisoning and colic, Poplar Coroner's Court in east London heard.
Yesterday, Coroner Doctor Andrew Reid agreed to write a letter to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt with his findings of the case.
He said: "My finding is that Penelope Ann Campbell died as a result of an accidental adverse healthcare event to which the nonrecognition of the seriousness of her condition contributed."
Miss Campbell, aged 41, who had lived in Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong in the course of her life, had a son, Joseph, who was six at the time of her death.
The inquest heard from clinical microbiologist Susannah Eykyn, who said that by the time Miss Campbell got to A&E on Easter Tuesday, she was suffering from "full-blown" streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
She had low blood pressure and renal failure and by then it was "too late", she said.
She told the coroner that toxic shock syndrome would have developed before Miss Campbell was admitted to A&E.
The clamminess noted by Dr Bengi Beyzade on the Sunday was a worrying sign which indicated her blood pressure was going down.
She told the coroner there was a "window of opportunity" to save Miss Campbell's life with antibiotics on the Sunday prior to admission to hospital.
She said there was a warning that doctors should always look to see if an illness was caused by a procedure, in this case an injection for piles, before thinking of other reasons.
Speaking after the case, Miss Campbell's partner of almost 20 years, Angus MacKinnon, said he was considering legal action against some or all of the doctors involved.