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Posted on 9th May 2018

Woman Dies From Lack Of Oxygen Anaesthetist Mistake

A mistake classed as a ‘never event’, one so severe that it should never occur killed a woman during a routine operation. A 44-year-old mother of four children was admitted to Cumberland Infirmary for routine day surgery.  She was admitted for short day surgery to remove a polyp on her vocal chord. During this surgery, the woman suffered irreversible brain damage which caused her to die.

It was found that a breathing tube was placed in the oesophagus instead of the trachea (windpipe). The error, from two different anaesthetists, meant that oxygen was not being delivered to the patient. The machine gave warnings about the tube placement, but the medical staff disputed the possibility and did not realise the error.

The tube placement error was not realised for forty minutes, despite the machine alerting medics to a mistake. By the time the mistake was realised, the patient had suffered from irreversible brain damage because of her lack of oxygen.

The coroner ruled that the death could have been prevented. It comes after a similar event that happened last year involving a 71-year-old patient who died after the breathing tube was placed in the oesophagus during knee replacement surgery.

What Negligence Claimline say

Routine operations are expected to run smoothly, and during a hospital stay, you hope for best care from trusted medical professionals. Unfortunately, when care falls short, it can lead to disastrous consequences and preventable fatalities. If you have been affected by a failure of care at the hands of medical professionals, then you may be entitled to seek compensation.

Tell us your story by emailing, and you can receive a free claims assessment within 24-hours to help you decide how to pursue your claim.