A HOSPITAL patient who died following a routine procedure, may have survived if senior staff had been alerted when his condition worsened, an inquest heard.
Coroner Roger Whittaker was critical of a breakdown in communication at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary at the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Cedric Sutton.
Mr Sutton, who was 76, died on June 25 last year from peritonitis – inflammation of the lining in the abdominal cavity.
It had been caused by a tear in his lower intestine, which itself was probably caused by a tube being inserted during an endoscopy two days before.
The Huddersfield inquest heard Mr Sutton, of Briarfield Road, Holmfirth, had gone into hospital with bowel problems on June 13.
Following his endoscopy on the 23rd, he suffered severe abdominal and back pain.
Tests were carried out the following day, which suggested there may have been a more serious problem.
But his consultant, William Ainslie, was only given the test results on June 25.
He immediately ordered an x-ray and discovered the tear, which had caused gas to escape into Mr Sutton’s abdomen.
But before any further action could be taken, Mr Sutton suffered a double cardiac arrest and died.
Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Whittaker said: “Had the test results been seen by a more senior clinician, I believe steps could have been taken for an x-ray to be done, which in all probability would have led to him having an operation. “I’m critical that that wasn’t done.
“If an operation had taken place he would have had no more than a 50% chance of survival, so I can’t say he would have survived, but he might have.”
A spokesman for the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said they would look into the matter.
He said: “We will be closely studying the coroner’s comments to identify where improvements could be made to ensure the care our patients receive is as safe as it can possibly be.”