Lessons learned from dad’s death

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THE death of a ‘perfect dad’ from a freak barbecue accident could help burns specialists save other patients, it was revealed this week.

Fit and healthy 40-year-old Colin Hill died despite sustaining only moderate burns of between 17 and 18 per cent.

Now his family is seeking legal action against Stoke Mandeville Hospital for blunders they say led to his death.

Last week an inquest heard how Colin was recovering well until four days after the accident, when his breathing began deteriorating.

The hospital failed to make a formal assessment or give in-depth treatment at this vital stage, said the coroner Rodney Corner.

The following day doctors caused ‘significant lung injury’ by accidentally putting an intubation tube into his oesophagus instead of his airway, flooding his lungs with stomach contents, he said.

Colin was transferred to Glenfield specialist hospital in Leicester but died 12 days later.

“We miss him every day,” said his wife Lisa.

“He was a vibrant young man who went to the gym every day. He had a real zest for life and a wicked sense of humour.

“He could walk into a room and make us laugh.

“He was a devoted family man to myself and my daughter, who describes him as the perfect dad. He was also a perfect son and brother.

“He should have recovered from this accident and still be with us today.”

The Hill family had lit the barbecue in the back garden of their Wavendon Gate home in June 2009.

Colin was walking past the barbecue carrying a plastic container of fuel for his model aircraft when the container exploded in his hand.

Solicitor for the family, Gary Williams from Osborne Morris and Morgan, told the Citizen: “The burns Mr Hill sustained were moderate and survivable.

“But because a doctor did not investigate why his condition was getting worse and because the hospital did not do everything it should have done, Mr Hill was not given the best chance to survive.

“It is hoped that Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust will keep to the promises made at the inquest to investigate these issues for the benefit of other patients.”

A spokesman for Stoke Mandeville hospital said this week: “We would like to express our condolences to Mr Hill’s family.

“The Trust are aware of the narrative verdict given at the inquest at the end of last week and are considering any further actions we need to take.”