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Hospital death could have been avoided

Posted in: Medical Negligence NHS Claims Wrongful & Accidental Death 

After a radiology specialist accidentally cut an artery of a man suffering from high blood pressure, a coroner said that his death could have been “avoided”. 47-year-old Brian Galea, from Preston, was admitted to the Royal Preston Hospital on the 14th of August last year, but died only a few hours later due to the specialist’s serious error.

It was heard at Preston Coroner’s Court that the specialist had been trying to remove a blood clot at the time of the incident, accidently tearing one of his arteries.  Coroner Dr James Adeley said that an embolectomy procedure, carried out to remove blockages, should have been stopped earlier after Mr Galea’s blood pressure had been attained, saying that the “cessation would have avoided the tear in the wall of the right pulmonary artery and Brian Galea’s death.

Significant trust failings

It was found that the interventional radiologist, Dr Dare Seriki, had not carried out a scan of Mr Galea’s artery prior to the procedure, which would have highlighted the clot and made the tear avoidable.  It was also highlighted by the coroner that significant trust failings had contributed to the incident, with the communication of risk and explanation of other treatments not made available to Mr Galea.

The medical director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sean Hughes, said that they offered their most “sincere condolences” to the family of Mr Galea.  He continued by saying: “We will now undertake a review of our practices and policies to see what lessons can be learned”.

The family’s lawyer, Diane Rostron, said that she has been instructed by her clients to pursue a claim for clinical negligence against the trust.

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