Woman died after rou­tine check caused haem­or­rhage

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News - ALEX SHIP­MAN [email protected]­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

AWOMAN died in agony from a bun­gled bowel ex­am­i­na­tion after be­ing told that help from an am­bu­lance, A&E and even a GP would all in­volve a wait of at least two hours.

Su­san Long­den, 69, died of in­ter­nal bleed­ing after suf­fer­ing a per­fo­rated bowel dur­ing a rou­tine colonoscopy ap­point­ment.

Mrs Long­den, pic­tured, en­dured “ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain” in the hours that fol­lowed, but nurses said it was prob­a­bly trapped air when her hus­band David re­peat­edly phoned for help.

He de­scribed the sever­ity of her pain as “9/10” in a num­ber of des­per­ate calls to the en­doscopy de­part­ment that af­ter­noon.

A nurse at the unit told David to make Su­san a cup of tea and avoid tak­ing her to A&E be­cause there was a three-and-a-half-hour wait, an in­quest into her death heard.

David phoned NHS 111 for ad­vice in the evening when the pain per­sisted and was told an am­bu­lance would take two-and-a-half hours to ar­rive.

NHS 111 re­quested an am­bu­lance but this was changed to a call re­quir­ing an out-of-hours doc­tor, who was also go­ing to take two hours to ar­rive.

Su­san’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated and she fell un­con­scious and David had to per­form CPR on his wife on their bath­room floor.

She died in the early hours of the fol­low­ing morn­ing – Fe­bru­ary 1 this year – in hos­pi­tal.

David, who lived with his wife in We­ston-super-Mare, Som­er­set, de­scribes her tragic death as “pre­ventable” and “avoid­able”.

A state­ment on be­half of the fam­ily said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her death had been an “ex­tremely trau­matic process” and that “op­por­tu­ni­ties were missed which could have saved Su­san’s life”.

It read: “Although a per­fo­ra­tion or rup­ture of the spleen maybe a rare com­pli­ca­tion of a colonoscopy, given the ex­treme pain re­ported to them by Mr Long­den, staff at the unit ac­knowl­edged that they re­garded a per­fo­ra­tion as a pos­si­bil­ity and they also recog­nised that this could be a se­ri­ous and life threat­en­ing con­di­tion.

“The fam­ily find it dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand why they were not warned of this pos­si­ble com­pli­ca­tion and they were not im­me­di­ately urged to bring Su­san into the hos­pi­tal or to call for an am­bu­lance. Had Mr Long­den been given this ad­vice there is no ques­tion that he would not have brought her straight into the hos­pi­tal, only a six-minute drive away, or called for an am­bu­lance.

“The fam­ily also be­lieve that had the NHS 111 ser­vice iden­ti­fied the sever­ity of Su­san’s con­di­tion, an am­bu­lance could have been called sooner and Su­san may still be alive.

“The fam­ily feel that there should have been im­me­di­ate recog­ni­tion that Su­san needed ur­gent treat­ment and that op­por­tu­ni­ties were missed which could have saved Sue’s life.

“It is ex­tremely hard to come to terms with her pre­ventable death.”

De­scrib­ing the mo­ment Su­san col­lapsed, David told three-day in­quest at Flax Bour­ton near Bris­tol: “She was com­plain­ing of ter­ri­ble pain in her stom­ach and she was scream­ing out in agony.”

As­sis­tant coro­ner Dr Peter Har­row­ing did not blame health­care pro­fes­sion­als who car­ried out the colonoscopy at We­ston Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal for her death. He also ruled out gross fail­ings by nurses at NHS 111.

Dr Har­row­ing told the in­quest: “In­so­far as the nurses are con­cerned at We­ston Gen­eral... I do not find ei­ther in­di­vid­u­ally or col­lec­tively that there was any gross fail­ing on their part.

“I turned to in­volve­ment of the nurse from NHS 111. She gave ev­i­dence that she was aware of pos­si­bil­ity of se­ri­ous life-threat­en­ing ef­fect of colonoscopy.

“The nurse made in­quiries of Mr Long­den and asked ques­tions. I’ve heard ev­i­dence that she did not fully recog­nise red flags dur­ing ques­tion­ing of Mr Long­den.

“It is easy with hind­sight to say she should have taken a dif­fer­ent course of ac­tion. I have to con­sider whether that amounts to a gross fail­ure.

“Even if she recog­nised it as a more se­ri­ous con­di­tion, I do not con­sider that an am­bu­lance would have ar­rived within time.

“I there­fore do not find there was ne­glect for the care of Mrs Long­den on this oc­ca­sion.”

The cause of death was recorded as in­ter­nal bleed­ing – an in­tra-ab­dom­i­nal haem­or­rhage – and a splenic in­jury as a re­sult of the colonoscopy.

Fol­low­ing the in­quest, We­ston Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and NHS 111 said a num­ber of mea­sures have been in­tro­duced to avoid com­pli­ca­tions Su­san suf­fered in fu­ture cases.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.