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Medical blunder results in tragic death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

An inquest being held in North London Coroners’ Court has heard that a series of neglectful errors at Northwick Park Hospital resulted in the death of an 85-year-old grandmother on 7 May 2015.  Irmgard Cooper had been undergoing a serious but successful heart procedure at the hospital when it was discovered that her blood supplies had been sent back to the blood bank by mistake.  The surgeon was not made aware of the error and had begun to operate on Mrs Cooper.  It was during the operation that the surgeon noticed that the anaesthetist was not transfusing blood to the patient.  It subsequently transpired that Mrs Cooper’s blood could not be retrieved due to a spelling mistake in her name.  Mrs Cooper’s blood had been marked as ‘Irngard’ instead of ‘Irmgard’, resulting in a two and a half hour delay.

Inquest ruled neglect was to blame for her death

The result of the delay in retrieving the blood led to Mrs Cooper losing all her blood during the operation.  Mrs Cooper, who was mother of two and grandmother of three, lost her life on the operating table due to the blood being unavailable.  The inquest was informed that Mrs Cooper would have survived the operation had the blood supplies been available.

An internal investigation at the hospital found that Mrs Cooper had suffered cardio vascular collapse, serious blood clotting difficulties and haemorrhage which would have been totally avoidable had the blood supply been present at her operation. The inquest ruled that neglect was to blame for her death.

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