Doc­tor lay dead in QE for 2 days af­ter sui­cide Mys­tery sur­rounds medic’s death days af­ter start­ing at hos­pi­tal

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jane Tyler Staff Re­porter

AJUNIOR doc­tor killed him­self at a Birm­ing­ham hos­pi­tal but his body was not found for two days.

Ed­uard Zi­gar, 25, was found hanged in a store cup­board at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal less than a week af­ter start­ing a place­ment.

But an in­quest heard his body was not dis­cov­ered for two days and his fail­ure to turn up for a shift was put down to a rota mis­take.

Birm­ing­ham Coro­ner’s Court heard that the Lithua­nian medic, who lived in Wolver­hamp­ton, had shown no signs of be­ing sui­ci­dal or de­pressed in the days be­fore his death.

Con­sul­tant John Whit­ing said he joined from an agency on Au­gust 20 this year as locum cover was needed on a sur­gi­cal ward for up to four months.

“He was very pleas­ant, but a lit­tle ner­vous and anx­ious, which is not un­usual in a new ju­nior doc­tor,” he said. “He was strug­gling with our com­puter sys­tem and, even af­ter a week, hadn’t picked it up as much as I’d ex­pected.

“But I had no con­cerns men­tal well-be­ing.”

Dr Zi­gar was seen for the last time when he fin­ished his shift on Satur­day, Au­gust 25.

He was not seen again un­til a health care as­sis­tant found his body at 10pm on Tues­day, Au­gust 27. The cause of death was hang­ing. Ann Keogh, a se­nior doc­tor at the QE who car­ried out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what hap­pened, told the in­quest that Dr Zi­gar’s move­ments were tracked us­ing his swipe card records and CCTV footage.

He was shown to have fin­ished work on the sur­gi­cal ward at 5pm on Satur­day and then moved around the hos­pi­tal un­til the last sight­ing of for his him at 7pm that day. There was no other sight­ings un­til his body was found at 10pm on Tues­day, Dr Keogh said.

Asked by coro­ner Louise Hunt why no­body had missed him dur­ing the three days, she said a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors were in­volved.

When he didn’t turn up for his shift on Sun­day morn­ing his ab­sence was not fol­lowed up.

Dr Keogh said: “Staff weren’t par- tic­u­larly sur­prised or con­cerned and thought it was a rota er­ror be­cause this had hap­pened with an­other mem­ber of staff the pre­vi­ous day.

“Or, as a locum, he de­cided not to turn up, which does oc­cur.”

An­other doc­tor tried ring­ing him and left a mes­sage, but there was no re­ply.

It was only on the Sun­day af­ter­noon, when Dr Zi­gar’s par­ents con­tacted the locum agency say­ing they had not heard from their son for 48 hours, that the hos­pi­tal probed fur­ther. Dr Keogh said a doc­tor went into the hos­pi­tal’s com­puter sys­tem to find out if he had logged on.

But the name “Ed­ward” than “Ed­uard” was en­tered, with the wrong spe­cial­ity, meant there was no record work­ing at the hos­pi­tal.

Af­ter the mis­take was re­alised, po­lice were in­formed he was miss­ing and a search be­gan for him via a doc­tors’ WhatApp group.

Dr Keogh said, as a re­sult of Dr Zi­gar’s death, the QE now of­fered more sup­port to locums when they first started, in­clud­ing set­ting up a spe­cial app for ju­nior doc­tors.

But she said no-one who worked with him re­ported any con­cerns.

“On the Satur­day he was quiet and de­tached, but peo­ple felt that was not un­usual in a new doc­tor,” she said.

Dr Zi­gar’s par­ents trav­elled from Lithua­nia for the hear­ing.

His mother, Ju­lia Zi­gar, told the court her son was a “tol­er­ant, lov­ing per­son who loved life”.

She said he texted her ev­ery day and was due to re­turn home to Lithua­nia the week af­ter he died.

“He showed no signs of un­hap­pi­ness and had never spo­ken of killing him­self,” she said. “He was ex­tremely reli­gious and sui­cide is not ac­cept­able in our re­li­gion.”

Mrs Hunt recorded a con­clu­sion of sui­cide.

Af­ter the hear­ing, Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals Birm­ing­ham NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “The Trust ex­tends sym­pa­thies to the fam­ily, friends and col­leagues of Dr Zi­gar and hopes the con­clu­sion of the in­quest will bring at least some sense of clo­sure.

“His un­timely death has prompted the Trust to in­ves­ti­gate whether any pro­cesses or poli­cies could be im­proved to avoid such a ter­ri­ble thing hap­pen­ing again.” rather along which of him

> Ed­uard Zi­gar, 25, was found hanged in a store cup­board at the QE Hos­pi­tal

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