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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Hospital apologises to family after dad death

A FAMILY received an apology from hospital staff after their terminally-ill dad suffered regular seizures during his final days in Furness General Hospital.

By David Pickthall

Robert Henry Rawsthorn Wilson, of Station Road, Flookburgh, died in FGH on Christmas Day last year.

The inquest into the 81-year-old’s death heard Mr Wilson had been diagnosed with untreatable aleukemic leukemia. The hearing in Barrow Town Hall was told he fell in the middle of the night on December 18 when he got out of bed to use the toilet.

A blood clot formed in the right side of his head – where he had a previous clot operated on in 2009 – and the pathologist’s report concluded an acute subdural haematoma was the immediate cause of death.

Dr John Keating said Mr Wilson would have died in less than a month in spite of the fall. During Tuesday’s inquest, Mr Wilson’s daughters asked medical staff why their dad was not given a scan sooner after the fall, and why he was then not given medication sooner to subdue regular seizures which followed.

His daughters, who did not reveal their names to the Evening Mail after the hearing, said they knew surgery was not an option, but believed their dad’s final days could have been more comfortable.

One of them told the inquest: “There were severe, regular seizures and it was very distressing for the family. I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through that.”

Dr Keating said there was no indication a scan was needed sooner, but was not made aware of the seizures.

He said: “I apologise for that and I’ll look into it. That’s not care we would like to give our patients.”

The daughters also asked why their dad’s bed never had cot sides on the night he got up and fell. Andrea Armstrong, oncology unit ward manager, said cot sides were fitted according to a daily risk-assessment of a patient, but should have been on the night Mr Wilson fell.

She said: “I can only apologise that the nurse that night felt they didn’t need to be put on.”

Mrs Ranu Rowan, head of legal services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, told the family: “As Mrs Armstrong and Dr Keating reassured you, the outcome of the inquest always goes back to senior managerial staff and they will know about things that happened and what should have been done.”

Mr Ian Smith, South and East Cumbria coroner, recorded a verdict of natural causes, complicated by an accident.

He said: “It seems the fall and the injury made things worse, but against a background of a pretty well insoluble medical situation anyway.”


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