A YORKSHIRE hospital trust has paid a six-figure sum to the family of a mother-of-two with Crohn’s disease who died just two weeks after an operation following a series of blunders.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, has admitted mistakes in its care which led to the death of 38-year-old Tracy Hall.
After the involvement of specialist medical negligence lawyers, the NHS trust acknowledged an operation should have been delayed until Tracy was more medically stable.
If this been done, she would have survived.
On April 28, 2009, Ms Hall had a nine hour surgery for the reversal of stoma, but following the procedure she suffered post-operative complications including internal bleeding and contracted an infection.
Her wound reopened a number of times and had to be washed out to prevent any infection.
By May 4, Ms Hall was still very unwell and doctors noticed a lot of blood in her stoma bag and her stomach was protruding.
She was taken back to surgery where it was discovered that an artery had been cut and her abdominal wall had burst.
The mum was then taken to the High Dependency Unit where she was sedated.
Over the next few days her condition continued to worsen, she was put on a life support machine and was suffering with high blood pressure and a fever.
Ms Hall, from Castleford, died on May 12 from multi-organ failure caused by sepsis.
Following her death, her family instructed medical lawyers Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received at Pinderfields Hospital.
The trust admitted that mistakes were made in her care, they said that she had active Crohn’s disease at the time of the reversal surgery, meaning that the operation should have been delayed until she was more medically stable.
If this been done, she would have survived. They also admitted that there was a delay in treating her post-operative complications.
Rebecca Pearey, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Tracy’s family have been left completely devastated by her sudden death and are still coming to terms with what has happened.
“Her surgery should have been delayed as she was not stable enough to have an operation.
“The NHS Trust has admitted if the surgery had been delayed, she would have survived.
“We hope that lessons can be learned by staff at the hospital to ensure critical mistakes like this when treating people with Crohn’s disease do not happen again to any other families.
“The fair settlement will go towards ensuring that her family, especially her husband and her two children, have financial support and protection in the future.”
Ms Hall’s mum, Carol, said: “We have been completely heartbroken since losing Tracy - it was incredibly difficult for the whole family to see her suffer like she did and deteriorate so quickly in front of our eyes.
“To think that if the doctors had waited longer before doing any operation on Tracy she could be still with us is devastating - she had been struggling for about a month before the surgery with abdominal pain and had lost nearly three stone in weight and we were surprised that they went ahead with it at the time.
“We never imagined that just two weeks after surgery she would no longer be with us.
“I just hope that this doesn’t happen to any other families and that the NHS Trust learns from its mistakes.”
Ms Hall was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2009.