A HUDDERSFIELD woman died from deep vein thrombosis after an operation, an inquest heard.
Sharon Maguire, 46, of Lindley, died in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary days after minor surgery.
The operation – to correct her blocked urethra – had been successful, but when she was recovering in a ward she suddenly experienced breathing difficulties and collapsed.
A post-mortem revealed that Mrs Maguire, a cash machine collector, died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a clot in her leg following the surgery.
The Huddersfield inquest heard that hospital staff had taken some steps to reduce the risk of her developing DVT during her operation, which can sometimes happen during long periods of immobility, such as lying on an operating table.
But it was found that a lower dosage than usual of the anti-clotting drug Clexane normally given to patients was administered.
Also, special compression stockings were not given to Mrs Maguire to wear, despite it being the hospital’s normal practice to give them to people having surgery and who might be at risk from developing DVT.
Coroner Roger Whittaker said that while these measures should have been enforced, he did not find the hospital team that cared for Mrs Maguire to have been negligent.
The inquest heard that Mrs Maguire had surgery on February 28.
Consultant urologist Michael Ferro, who had been responsible for her care, said the 90-minute operation had been a straightforward procedure and gone well without complications.
He said he knew Mrs Maguire had had a holiday in Cyprus last summer and had suffered swelling in her leg after the flight.
He had made inquiries before her surgery and had not been worried.
Mr Ferro said his registrar had told him that Mrs Maguire had been given Clexane before surgery, and that he would have assumed she would have had the compression stockings on as it was standard practice.
But Mrs Maguire’s sister, Diane Taylor, told the inquest that when she visited her sister in hospital she told her that she’d never been given any stockings.
Mrs Maguire’s drugs chart also showed that she was given just one dose of Clexane instead of the several that should have been given during the course of her treatment.
She should have been placed in Ward 9, the urology ward, after her operation but there was no bed available. So she went in the orthopaedic ward. Despite this, Mrs Maguire was regularly observed by staff.
Mr Whittaker said the change of ward would not have made a difference and recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.
Mr Whittaker added: “It’s clear that Mrs Maguire had prophylactics prescribed, but she only had one dose of the drug which should have been administered when she was admitted and after the operation.
“I also accept she wasn’t wearing stockings when she should have been.
“The fact that the risk of clotting would have been reduced from 0.8% to 0.3% is not an insignificant factor.”
Mr Whittaker said he had considered whether Mrs Maguire had been neglected by staff by not doing all they could to prevent the risk of DVT.
He said: “If the prophylactics had been provided there’s the possibility she would have survived, but on the evidence I have to adjudicate a verdict of misadventure.’’