If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Staff training given after pensioner dies at hospital
A PENSIONER died at Salisbury District Hospital after staff failed to recognise signs that his condition was deteriorating early enough, an inquest heard on Tuesday.
George Alexander Duncan, 67, of Windsor Street, died at the hospital on September 21, 2011, from multiple organ failure.
An inquest into Mr Duncan’s death, held at Salisbury Coroners Court on Tuesday, heard that he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November 2010.
He underwent surgery at the hospital on September 11 the following year but was readmitted three days later after complaining of stomach pains, which surgeon Graham Branagan told the court is usual for the type of surgery he had undergone.
Mr Duncan began to feel better and was keen to go home but was kept in due to a high temperature.
His condition started to deteriorate overnight on September 19 to 20 and he was given a CT scan and treated with intravenous fluids for dehydration, but his condition continued to decline and he went into cardiac arrest and died the following day.
The inquest heard Mr Duncan had tested positive for clostridium difficile (C diff) infection but Dr Julian Hemming, consultant microbiologist at the hospital, said: “If C diff was enough to cause acute deterioration I would expect to see more evidence of infection in the bowel.”
Post mortem results showed peritonitis, inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen, led to his death.
Dr Hemming said it is difficult to know when peritonitis would have been present and what would have caused it. He added that the CT scan Mr Duncan had didn’t show any “impending problems”.
Dr James Lawrence, who carried out a review of the care given to Mr Duncan following his death, said Mr Duncan’s dehydration was aggravated by medication he was given prior to the CT scan and he had developed kidney failure.
Dr Lawrence told the hearing that a number of changes had been introduced at the hospital prior to and since Mr Duncan’s death, and staff had received extra training with a focus on early recognition of patients whose clinical status is deteriorating.
Assistant deputy coroner Claire Balysz recorded a narrative verdict.
Comments are closed on this article.