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Posted on 24th May 2017

Hospital Contributed to Death From Aneurysm

At an inquest in Manchester, the Court heard how tests performed in 2006 at Manchester Royal Infirmary showed a developing aneurysm in a man’s heart.

The retired man who died at the age of 67 from multiple organ failure, had an operation in 2013 following a heart attack in 2012. During pre-surgical investigations for a coronary bypass, a 7cm aneurysm was found.

The senior coroner for Manchester commented “A clinical decision was made [in 2006] that this was not a significant finding and consequently no ultrasound assessment was undertaken.”

He went on to say “This was a missed opportunity to have assessed and measured the aorta because had it been greater than 3cm, the deceased would have been subject to surveillance monitoring”

If monitoring had been put in place, it could have been possible to identify that the aneurysm was developing and surgical intervention could have been performed before 2012.

Following the heart surgery in 2013, the patient recovered well but complained of occasional stomach pains. On 29 April 2014 he was rushed to A&E where he presented with severe back and side pain which had been on-going for the last three days.

Triage at the A&E department at the hospital recommended the patient be seen within an hour but he wasn’t seen for three hours. The diagnosis given by a Doctor was Kidney Stones.

The Doctor had noted the presence of a 7cm aneurysm in 2013 but failed to arrange an urgent CT Scan.

A CT scan was arranged the following day which showed that the aneurysm had ruptured and he was taken to theatre for emergency surgery but could not be saved.

The coroner gave the verdict that the man died of “natural causes contributed to by neglect.”


Aneurysms generally occur in the Brain, Heart, legs or spleen.

For information on aneurysms, read our advice piece here

In a joint study between The University of London and Harvard Medical School, it was found that between 2005 and 2012 only 29300 patients in England underwent corrective surgery in comparison with 278921 in the US.

That study also found that 34 in every 100,000 patients died from aneurysms in England in comparison with only 9 in every 100,000 in the US.

Whilst there is no conclusive proof from the study that the lack of surgical intervention is the reason for the higher UK death rate, this case highlights the importance of treatment being performed in a timely manner.

If you think your or a loved one’s treatment was delayed causing further injury or even death, contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.